Yesterday, I found these beautiful veggies at my local farm market. From left, red butter crunch lettuce, beets, rhubarb, tiny yellow squash!
My Big Surprise!
So, I did it – I tried something new. The funny thing is that I didn’t realize I would be tasting a brand-new veggie until I got home from my local farmer’s market. The even funnier thing is that I tried it for breakfast – would you?
My Big Opportunity!
I have loved beets since I was a kid – seriously, I have. So, in the spring I often treat myself to locally grown beets. Yesterday, I lucked into a beautiful bunch of beets that you can see in my photo at the left. When I started rinsing them off in cold water in my kitchen sink, I realized that I was going to throw away the beet greens. Why, I asked myself? So, I made a quick decision to wash, chop and lightly saute them in a little olive oil, minced garlic and a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes and salt. Then I ate them as part of my breakfast – yum!
Trying Something New!
What are you waiting for? I encourage everyone to try something new and veggies are a perfect place to start for good nutrition and tasty eating. Maybe you’ll find something new at the grocery store, maybe at the farmer’s market or maybe in your backyard veggie garden. Whatever you do, jump on every opportunity to try something new – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Oh, did I mention that I’ll be cooking the beautiful fresh rhubarb from my local farm market today? Rhubarb is only available fresh once a year and that time is now!
What new veggie will you try this week?
My delicious lunch plate at a local, sustainable farm was home-grown arugula salad, egg, potatoes, chicken.
April is Here – Get Ready for Locally Grown Food!
It’s a big month. April is Garden Month and right around the corner, on April 22, is Earth Day. Though I didn’t grow up on a farm, as a kid I would dream about how wonderful that could be – the animals, the fields, the ‘homemade’ food. As an adult, I am a huge fan of local farmers who work very, very hard so that I can eat the best vegetables, fruits, eggs, honey, meat, chicken and more.
Local Food Has a Field-Full of Advantages!
What’s so great about local food?
Its awesome flavors. If you’ve never tested that, I recommend you visit a local farm or farmer’s market and buy some Spring leafy greens such as spinach, kale or chard, grown in or near your county. Then, buy the same thing at your local grocery store, grown hundreds of miles away. Finally, cook the greens in 2 separate pans by lightly sauteing with a touch of garlic, olive oil and the tiniest pinch of salt. Taste and judge.
Its ongoing support of community. Farmers are an important group in the community. The same way you like to buy hardware supplies from the local business or eat at a hometown restaurant, you can support local agriculture. Also, the farmers typically purchase seeds and supplies, and hire local employees which helps your community.
Its respect for the Earth. Many local farms use sustainable systems to grow food and/or raise livestock and they sell locally. When this happens, the Earth benefits by fewer man-made chemicals entering the air, soil and water. Earth-friendly composting, crop selections and rotations put less stress on the environment, too. And, a smaller carbon footprint results when the farm harvest is distributed near by.
Get On-Board with Local Food!
There are simple ways to enjoy the flavors and support the cause. Get out to your local farmer’s market, buy a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) membership or plant a garden in your yard. Then, savor your harvest. Email me if you need help figuring out how to prepare locally grown vegetables and herbs or need advice on a CSA or farmer’s market choice. I’ll be happy to help!
Which farm or farmer’s market will you try this week?
In the Mediterranean Country of Turkey, mine was a colorful plate with tons of good nutrition!
Nutrition Month is Here!
I look forward to March every year for a few reasons, including Spring, Nutrition Month and my birthday. All 3 of these special occasions is like a new beginning – for nature, for everyone who seeks good flavors and good health and… for me, another year to be thankful for. Nutrition Month is a fun, full-of-flavor opportunity and I treat it as such. Will you join me in the celebration?
When I visited Turkey last fall, I truly enjoyed many cultural, natural and edible surprises. I experienced an Islamic culture, I swam in the Aegean Sea and I ate tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and feta cheese for breakfast – all for the first time! My meal plate at the left shows you how fresh, how colorful and how appetizing Turkish-style eating can be. It’s inspirational, too, as an example for my plate in America.
Will Your Nutrition Month be Full of Surprises?
It’s time for everyone to take a step forward by embracing Nutrition Month. There are so many surprises awaiting you as you concentrate on nutrient-rich foods that supply you with endless energy and tasty enjoyment. Climb out of your meal rut, grab new choices for your grocery basket and you will feel the difference that good nutrition can make. I am here to provide you with guidance, tips, recipes and fun support as you make a fresh beginning in March! Try these: LIKE me on facebook; invest in my menu planning, recipe e-book bundle; sign up for my monthly e-newsletter – it’s FREE!
How will you improve your nutrition plan beginning in March?
Turkish Stuffed Eggplant is full of Mediterranean flavor, especially when you add plain yogurt on top.
Mediterranean Cooking is Full of Flavor & More!
There’s no doubt in my mind that Mediterranean style recipes are some of the best in the world. Best because they are not hard to make. Best because they are full of delicious flavors. Best because they are combinations of plant-based ingredients that support good nutrition and good health.
Eggplant is a Vegetable of the Mediterranean Cuisine!
There are many vegetables that are used when cooking Mediterranean style. Eggplant, for example, is a mild-tasting vegetable that can be made into a stew, a side dish or a main dish. Sometimes eggplant is combined with basil or parsley and sometimes it is mixed with zucchini, tomatoes and olive oil. All by itself, eggplant is low in calories and carbohydrates and it is fat and cholesterol free. One cup of cooked eggplant is only 35 calories with 2 grams of fiber and 8 grams carbohydrates. By adding garlic, onions, tomatoes, fresh herbs and olive oil, eggplant is transformed into a most delicious lunch or dinner recipe without difficulty.
Turkish Stuffed Eggplant Recipe!
I love all eggplant recipes. One of the best I’ve ever made though is this Turkish Stuffed Eggplant Recipe (see photo.) After preparing and baking it, I let it cool to room temperature and then add Greek style, nonfat plain yogurt to the top.
If you haven’t tried making a new recipe yet this year, then I hope this blog inspires you to do it. Please join me on Facebook for tips on easy-to-fix recipes and handy strategies for a healthier outlook – from your own kitchen!
What new recipe will you try this week?
Ready to roast: sweet potatoes, parsnips, red and green Bell peppers and red onions.
Choose Any Veggies!
The first time I ate roasted veggies, it was a mix of sweet Bell peppers, onions and mushrooms. So, I repeated this combination with delicious results. Next, I branched out and started experimenting with other flavors, textures and colors. Now, I basically cut into chunks whatever I have on hand when the mood strikes for a tasty meal or side item of roasted veggies. You can do the same.
Roasted Rainbow Veggies Recipe!
This recipe offers sweet flavors of healthy vegetables. Kids can help by washing the veggies, stirring them up with oil and seasonings and scattering them on the pan, with supervision.
Makes 6 servings
2 medium Sweet potatoes, washed, skin left on
1 medium Onion, any kind
2 medium Yellow squash or zucchini squash, or one of each
2 tablespoons Olive oil
- Wash all vegetables. Peel off outer skin of onion.
- Preheat conventional oven to 425 degrees.
- With a cutting board and knife, cut up vegetables into bite-size chunks. The onion may be cut in half and then sliced.
- Place cut vegetables into a large bowl, add oil, salt and pepper. Stir so that everything becomes coated.
- Scatter vegetables in a large baking pan or cookie sheet with sides, about 17 x 11 inches. Spread out in one layer.
- Cook for 15 minutes. Using a spatula, turn over vegetables.
- Cook another 10-15 minutes, until tender when poked with a fork. Do not overcook or veggies may become mushy.
Nutrition per serving: 90 calories; 4.5 gm fat; 0.5 gm saturated fat; 0 trans fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 40 mg sodium; 12 gm carbohydrates; 2 gm fiber; 2 gm protein; 150% DV vitamin A; 35% DV vitamin C; 22% DV calcium; 4% DV iron
Money Saving Tip: Use other vegetables, such as broccoli, asparagus and butternut squash, when they are on sale.
What vegetable combination will you try?
The Magic of Thanksgiving!
This colorful market in Vienna, Austria features cabbage, sweet peppers & spinach.
Thanksgiving is near and dear to my heart, and to my stomach. I adore the family focus of this all-American feast and the tasty foods it brings to the dinner table. In my family, before eating our feast, we go around the table and everyone says what they are thankful for. For me, this sets the mood for a wonderful evening together!
The Healthy Vegetables of Thanksgiving!
Vegetables make a great Thanksgiving even better. The colors, flavors and good nutrition add up to a feast for the eyes and a healthy body. Here are a few ideas for you, 2 per vegetable:
Cabbage: 1. Boil it in 1-2 inch wedges until tender, season with a little oil and caraway seeds; 2. Finely shred it, mix with shredded carrots and dress lightly with oil/vinegar/salt/pepper.
Sweet Peppers: 1. Remove seeds and roast in the oven at 400 degrees, in chunks, with a drizzle of oil and a favorite dry herb until tender; 2. Remove seeds and cut into thin strips, then toss with oil/vinegar/salt/pepper.
Spinach: 1. Trim off stems. Steam leaves on stovetop, drain excess water and sprinkle with grated lemon zest; 2. Trim stems. Make a salad with torn leaves plus one-bite tomatoes and capers. Dress with choice of light dressing.
The Giving Spirit of Thanksgiving!
While many of us will be eating a Thanksgiving feast this Thursday, many others will not. There are ways to give to those less fortunate at Thanksgiving, and getting kids involved with giving is also something to consider.
What vegetables will be at your healthy Thanksgiving feast?
Smart meals begin with plenty of fruits and vegetables, every day, every meal!
How to Power-Up
* Pick up at least 2 fruits and 2 veggies in your weekly grocery shopping basket – fresh, canned and/or frozen
* Make a colorful plate of fruit/veg your goal
* Taste one new fruit and one new veggie every week
How to Inspire Your Family
* Keep a bowl of colorful fruits on the kitchen counter
* Teach the kids to peel a carrot…and eat it
* Learn to make homemade vegetable soup and practice often
September is Fruit & Veggie Month
Feeling great and staying healthy are 2 awesome reasons to power-up with fruits and veggies. Try plums, raspberries, acorn squash, turnips (at right, above), kohlrabi (at left, above), kiwi fruit, sweet potatoes, red cabbage, apples and pears. Then, try even more with bright colors and a ton of great nutrition.
Make a Goal to Eat More Fruits & Veggies
Be a leader for fruits and veggies! Eat one of each at every meal. Be a successful role model for your family, and kids. Show your friends by example that eating fruits and veggies is definitely cool. For handy help, check the details of my e-books with menus and recipes for ongoing success!
What new fruit or veggie will you try this week?
Can you imagine a more colorful, summery meal than veggie pizza with mixed heirloom tomatoes?
Pizza is a Teen-Pleaser!
If you have teens, then I bet pizza is high on your list of family-pleasing meals. My teen loves it and so my approach is to offer healthier pizza and side options. When we met friends at the swimming pool last week for supper, 4 adults and 3 teens enjoyed a colorful & healthy meal. In addition to what’s pictured at the left, there was cheese pizza, juice-packed fruits and a drink.
Ordering Healthier Pizza!
On a long work day, my perfect meal solution was to drop by the local Italian restaurant and order take-out pizza. I asked for ‘light on the cheese’ and ‘double cut’ for smaller slices. The veggie pizza had broccoli, mushrooms and spinach on top and it was dee-lish. When you order pizza for take-out, be sure to make the special requests you need. Good nutrition is always worth the trouble.
Take Action Now!
When you want to feel great and stay healthy, there’s no better solution than nutritious eating, every day. To nourish your teen the best you possibly can, and to become your entire family’s healthy eater role model, you need resources. LIKE my facebook page to join a fun and lively discussion, READ my blog every week for more know-how in your kitchen and BUY a trusted bundle of my menu & recipe e-books to make easy meals with awesome results!
How do you build a tasty and healthy meal with pizza?
Patty pan squash mixed with corn off-the-cob, onions and fresh herbs is a treat for the taste buds!
Mix it Up!
Are you are slipping into a rut using the same vegetables over and over and over? You’re not alone. Most of us put one of 3-5 different choices on the family table because we like them, our families will eat them and we believe in vegetables.
Climb out of that Rut!
It’s time to branch out and climb out of that rut with summer vegetable mixtures. The best part about mixing veggies together is that anything goes and all flavors blend. Not only that — the colors are brighter and the family perks up to eating superior nutrition.
Try One of These!
Here are a 3 summer veggie mixtures to try. They can be easily steamed on the stove top or in the microwave. Or, grill them on a special veggie grill pan or in a small aluminum foil ‘tent’ alongside the rest of the grill meal. Season lightly with olive oil.
1. Sliced zucchini and onions + red Bell pepper chunks
2. Green beans and chunks of tomatoes + chopped fresh garlic and basil
3. Corn off-the-cob, green Bell pepper chunks and onions + chopped parsley and thyme
Shop, Cook, Enjoy!
Now, gather your ideas, shop at the market and bring your family into-the-loop. Do it for the wonderful flavors and for the nutritional advantage that veggies offer all of us. Who can come up with a signature summer vegetable mixture to try at your meal table?
What would you be? An orange, a beet?
A Fruit – A Veggie?
Jackie wants to be a strawberry because it’s her favorite fruit and so sweet. Jake wants to be cherries because they grow in a bunch and he likes hanging around with his friends. Rocco wants to be mixed vegetables so he can talk different languages with the other vegetables, and he doesn’t want to be eaten. Who knew kids could take on the personalities of fruits and veggies so creatively? Amazing!
Getting Kids Excited about Eating Right
Next time you’re in the grocery store, try asking your child(ren) which fruit or vegetable she/he/they would like to be and why? You’ll be surprised to hear the answers, and you might be surprised at their excitement, too. Young minds are open to just about anything – even making healthier choices for the family grocery cart. There’s no better place to start than with fruits and veggies.
Getting the Entire Family On-Board
Eating meals together as a family is an awesome way to connect with those you care about most. Dinner conversation can be fun and funny for everyone and it can help kids excel in school. Try these questions for some lively times:
Which vegetable would you like to eat for breakfast and why?
What fruit makes the biggest crunch when you eat it?
If you could be any fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why?
Tips to Help You Create a Healthier Kitchen and Family
To stay in-the-loop for tasty and nutritious tips about meal planning, grocery shopping and simple home cooking, take a minute to LIKE my facebook page at Market Basket Nutrition and join the conversation. What’s in it for you? Everyday, easy
Who doesn’t love pumpkins?
Bright Orange is Here!
The leaves are changing and funny/scary costumes are on the horizon. Better yet, fall brings meals and snacks that overlap beautifully with the season of bright orange pumpkins for a “perfect storm” of good nutrition.
Good Nutrition News!
Pumpkin falls near the top of a list of the healthiest vegetables for everyone. It has fewer than 50 calories in 1 cup cooked and over 250% of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamin A for adults. In addition, pumpkin is mildly anti-inflammatory which means it is ‘kind’ to the body’s cells and physiology in general.
Fun With Pumpkin!
For many families, a fresh pumpkin is carved into a fun jack-o-lantern and the seeds are scooped out and reserved for toasting in the oven with a little oil and salt. There’s great nutrition in the seeds, by the way, with nearly 20% of the RDA for magnesium and zinc. A big pumpkin, though, simply does not fit into the family pantry for cooking purposes. What does fit into the pantry is a convenient and nutrient-dense can of solid-pack pumpkin. Its one ingredient, pumpkin, is versatile and full of flavor.
Pumpkin for Breakfast!
Pumpkin and breakfast? Why not? By pairing the morning meal with a highly nutritious squash, everyone is in for a blast of good nutrition and a tasty, new waker-up. Go ahead, try one of these totally simple pumpkin recipes, or try both!
Pumpkin-Apple Pancakes: Mix together 1 cup Bisquick Heart Smart Baking Mix + 1 cup whole wheat flour + 1 1/4 cups nonfat milk + 1 large egg + 1/2 – 3/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin + 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Cook into pancakes. Serve with warmed applesauce and a little cinnamon-sugar.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese and Bagel: Mix together until creamy 8 oz light cream cheese + 1/4 cup solid-pack pumpkin + 1 Tbsp brown sugar + 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice. Serve with a fresh mini bagel.
Creating a Healthier Kitchen
For tips,easy home recipes,nutrition wisdom and more,please LIKE my facebook page. Then,visit frequently!
Colorful peppers add amazing flavor to chili!
Colorful Peppers Add Flavor
I have become a believer in colorful peppers this summer-into-fall. Not only are they a feast for the eyes, but they also add a sweet, rich flavor to your kitchen recipes. In the last month, I’ve chopped up colorful peppers for cold salads, cooked them in a stew, sauteed them for a side item, and made them into black bean chili. Beautiful, versatile, nutritious, delicious is what you can discover with peppers!
Making Fall Chili with Peppers
Making chili starts with a favorite recipe and there are plenty of them in cookbooks, online and in your family collection. Also, chili can be made with lean ground beef or lean round steak as a starter. Or, chili can be made vegetarian-style. Colorful peppers will enhance every chili recipe, so simply wash them, remove seeds and cut into small strips or random chunks. Then, toss the peppers into your chili as it simmers on the stove or in the crock pot. You’ll be amazed at the wonderful aroma in your kitchen and the burst of new flavor in your chili. Enjoy!
Creating a Healthier Kitchen
For tips, easy home recipes, nutrition wisdom and more, please LIKE my facebook page. Then, visit frequently!
There's more to pumpkins than making jack-o-lanterns!
Fall, Pumpkins & Kids!
There’s nothing more fun than carving a beautiful, orange pumpkin into a fun jack-o-lantern. Kids love the funny faces while watchful parents guard the sharp knife. Everyone enjoys pumpkin season ~ picking one out ~carving it ~ cooking with it in the kitchen!
Pumpkins Offer Great Nutrition!
If you’re looking for a vegetable that’s low in calories and high in health-promoting antioxidants like vitamin A, then pumpkin is the answer. Pumpkins are a hard, Fall squash that offers powerful nutrition with tasty flavor. In seasons of the year when fresh pumpkins are not available, though, a can of solid-pack pumpkin fills in nicely. Use it for kitchen creations with similar nutritious results.
Pumpkin in the Kitchen!
There are many ways to use pumpkin to make yummy, family-friendly recipes. Here are a few:
Roasted pumpkin: Bake bite-size chunks of pumpkin in the oven at 425 degrees with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt.
Pumpkin chili: Add some canned pumpkin to your favorite veggie chili recipe.
Pumpkin pancakes: Add a scoop of canned pumpkin to a simple pancake batter, along with some pumpkin pie spice.
Toasted pumpkin seeds: Roast the rinsed seeds of your pumpkin on a baking sheet in the oven until golden and crispy.
Ongoing Learning! Please LIKE my facebook page for everyday handy tips,ideas and recipes for your healthy kitchen!
Basic foods can fuel your busy life - healthfully!
Basic Foods & Your Grocery Cart
There are foods we eat as nature made them, and foods that we do not. Think about what’s in your grocery cart minus wrappers. Are there fruits, vegetables, grains like rice and barley, proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and plain yogurt? Or, do you have a cart-full of foods with processing added?
Think about what can be inside modern, processed food wrappers that may harm your health. For example, trans fats, caffeine, artificial colors and flavors are common but your body prefers basic foods. What grandma and great-grandma ate was, perhaps, best after all.
Shopping for the Basics
Stop 1 – Fresh fruits and vegetables, choose an assortment.
Stop 2 – Bakery bread, made from whole wheat flour and other simple ingredients.
Stop 3 – Meat, seafood, poultry, without marinade and without injected solutions of any kind.
Stop 4 – Canned fruits, veggies, pasta, rice and soup, made with the simplest ingredients you can find.
Stop 5 – Breakfast cereals, without artificial colors and flavors, fiber-rich and sugar-poor.
Stop 6 – Cookies and crackers, simple is best, or make them yourself from basic ingredients.
Stop 7 – Dairy foods, without added flavors, colors or sweetners.
Stop 8 – Frozen foods, limit frozen entrees, look for fruits and vegetables that are simply plain.
For Ongoing Information about Basic Foods & Your Grocery Cart
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My car's passenger seat is full of good nutrition!
1. Look at what I bought at my local Farmer’s Market yesterday.
2. Try to name everything.
3. Try to work each fruit/veggie into a healthy meal or snack.
1. Fresh fruits can be a part of breakfast, lunch or dinner…or, a snack. One easy way to prepare them is to wash in cold tap water, peel (depending on the fruit) and eat.
2. Fresh veggies can be eaten raw, in most cases, or cooked. One easy way to cook them is to wash in cold tap water, cut and microwave.
Solution to the Game (left to right):
1. Santa Rosa Plums – Very sweet and a tiny bit tart. Wash and eat for dessert.
2. Athena Cantaloupe – Sweet, juicy and flavorful. Wash, peel and eat as a refreshing snack.
3. Jimmy Nardello Peppers – Sweet, not hot, flavorful peppers. Wash and cut into a pasta salad for lunch or dinner.
4. Aristocrat Zucchini – Mild, fresh squash flavor. Wash, slice lengthwise and grill with a little olive oil for dinner.
5. Elephant Garlic – Mild flavor with large cloves. Peel and mince, then sprinkle onto a homemade pizza for lunch.
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Many healthy meals and snacks start here!
Summer Fruits & Veggies are Here!
It is an awesome time of year to go shopping for local, seasonal fruits and veggies. You can find them at your local farm market, roadside stand or supermarket. Stock up now while the summer harvest is ‘rolling in’ and you’ll be glad you did.
What to Do with Summer’s Bounty!
Shopping for healthy summer produce is one thing and figuring out what to do with it once you get home is another. Buy too much? Lacking inspiration to get into the kitchen and cook? Confused how to use it all up? Here’s some help.
Summer Ideas for Your Healthy Kitchen!
Corn on the cob – Rip off the husk and silk first. Option 1: Wrap in aluminum foil and roast on the grill for 7-10 min. turning twice. Option 2: Wrap in waxed paper and cook in microwave. Option 3: Carefully cut raw kernels off the cob using a sharp knife and cutting board. Cook in microwave with 1/2 inch water, a pinch of sugar and ground cumin.
Eggplant, zucchini, yellow summer squash – Wash and remove ends. Slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and Italian herbs of choice. Grill about 6-8 min, turning twice.
Tomatoes – Wash, remove core and discard it. Option 1: Slice into 1/4 inch thickness. Layer with chickpea hummus and top with chopped fresh parsley. Option 2: Chop into bite-size pieces. Drizzle the top with a little olive oil and fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Option 3: Chop and add lots of them to your favorite pasta salad.
Fresh peaches – Wash, remove seed and discard it. Option 1: Slice into small wedges, sprinkle with ground cinnamon and a pinch of sugar. Option 2: Chop and mix into your chicken or turkey salad. Option 3: Chop and mix with vanilla yogurt.
Ongoing Ideas for Your Healthy Kitchen!
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A simple, balanced meal begins here.
Nutritious Eating Advice for Americans is New!
Just last week, America was introduced to a new concept of nutritious eating. The Choose My Plate concept replaces My Pyramid and the Food Guide Pyramid. The picture is new, yes, though the importance of putting together a simple plate for good health is not.
Three Simple Tips to Eat Well with Choose My Plate
1. Strive for balance in your meal. This means to include a variety of protein, whole grain carbohydrates and healthful fats.
2. Cover half your meal plate with fruits and vegetables with a goal of staying out of a rut. Be courageous and try everything.
3. Think carefully about your drink. Go for water, 1% milk or a decaffeinated choice.
Olive oil is at the core of the Mediterranean Diet.
What is Mediterranean Month?
Mediterranean Month is celebrated throughout May. The Mediterranean Diet, though, has powerful nutrition and awesome flavors that deserve attention all year long. Just as important to good health in the Mediterranean is a unique lifestyle that emphasizes an appreciation for food, its enjoyment and fresh air.
Foods Central to the Mediterranean Diet
Olive oil, zucchini, tomatoes, fresh basil and rosemary, artichokes, crusty bread, fish, shellfish, red wine, pasta, feta cheese, garlic, olives and more.
Lifestyle Behaviors Central to the Mediterranean
Walking, playing with children, soccer, enjoying fresh meals slowly with family and friends, appreciating nature and all that it offers.
Making your own stock is a snap!
What’s so great about home cooking?
Trying to do more home-based cooking is a smart decision. By doing this, you and your family will enjoy more flavor and richer nutrition. Not only that — you will feel a powerful sense of pride in what you serve on the breakfast, lunch and dinner table. Everyone does, including the kids!
How can I get started?
Getting started in your kitchen is easy. You will need a few pots/pans, utensils, an apron and simple menu planning and recipe resources. Now, take a deep breath and give it a try!
Here’s one easy, cheap, tasty recipe to try
Homemade soup stock is an ingredient in many healthful recipes. To make it, simply fill a large pot about halfway with water. Then, wash and trim 2 cloves garlic, 1 large tomato, 2 stalks of celery, 1 onion, 1 turnip, 2 parsnips, 1 handful of fresh parsley. Cut everything into chunks and add to the pot. Add 2-3 grinds/shakes of black pepper and a pinch of salt (optional). Cover the pot with a lid and heat the burner to medium-high. Once it boils, reduce heat to low and simmer the stock for 45-60 minutes. Cool stock. Measure it into 1- 2 cup, covered containers, label, date and freeze. It’s that easy!
Grocery List for Homemade Stock: Garlic clove, tomato, celery, onion, turnip, parsnips, fresh parsley.
Eat 'em every day!
Good nutrition is all about variety. Vegetables are a ‘must-have’ for variety, providing carbs, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. The bonus in vegetables is an assortment of health-enhancing phytochemicals. These natural plant elements can strengthen your immune system or help prevent chronic diseases — very important!
Grocery Store Tips
1. At the very least, fill the top-front section of your shopping cart with vegetables. Include several colors, and mix-n-match the fresh, canned and frozen. They all count.
2. Try a new vegetable every shopping trip. Perhaps it will be fennel, beets, an artichoke or frozen edamame – soybeans. The more adventurous you are, the better the nutrition.
3. Learn what’s in season for your local area. Flavors and nutrition are best when vegetables are in season. Check with your local agricultural experts to learn more.
Is it broccoli, cauliflower or both?
What’s in season now?
Fields of vegetables are growing strong in Monterey County’s Salinas Valley of California right now. It is a sight to see — spinach, lettuces, fennel, artichokes, carrots and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower stretch for miles on end.
Why is seasonal a smart choice?
Seasonal produce is a great choice for satisfying flavors and top-notch nutrition. Shop for the abundance from California as well as the local region of North Carolina. It’s a wonderful way to appreciate what America’s agricultural areas are doing for us every single day.
Two green veggies for dinner is a great idea!
New 2010 US Dietary Guidelines Challenge Us All
Last Monday, the USDA revealed new advice for all healthy Americans over the age of 2 ~ the 2010 US Dietary Guidelines. This sort of advice comes to us every 5 years after a large investment in human and financial resources by the government. In the most positive sense, it serves as a challenge for us to make healthier choices at the supermarket and on our meal plates, all with the aim of better health and quality of life. This time, there is a slew of advice directed at reducing obesity since it underlies so many chronic and serious health conditions. Also, there is a strong message about up-ing the fruits and veggies on your plate since this leads to healthier habits and health-enhancing nutrition every day.
Easy Ways to ‘Up’ Your Green Veggies
If you’re like me, there is always one green veggie on your meal plate. It may be steamed broccoli or zucchini, or a crisp salad made from Romaine lettuce or spinach. While this is a great start, the new US Dietary Guidelines nudge us to add one more green veggie. So, make that extra effort to eat 2 green veggies, cooked or raw, with every lunch and dinner. Consider my affordable ebook of family recipes that will move you, along with the green veggies, toward a healthier life.
Supermarket shopping list for green veggies: spinach, broccoli, kale, green beans, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, Bell peppers, broccoflower, cabbage, Romaine lettuce, parsley, green leaf lettuce, cucumber, fennel, collard greens
What are your favorite green veggies? Please leave a comment.