Tag Archives: Whole Foods

Radishes In The Garden!

Evie planted some radish seeds in the garden a while back, long before any of us were really ready to be doing any spring gardening. The ground wasn’t prepared, but she cleared a small spot and planted her seeds. Owing to a warm winter and some surprisingly diligent watering, those seeds sprouted up and leafed out quickly!

She proudly showed me the leafy tops. I casually mentioned thinning the plants so the radishes would have adequate room to grow, and she said “But Mom, the radishes have already grown. I can see them!”

Lo and behold, a dozen fat and gorgeous radishes had popped up above the dirt.

She carefully pulled up her radishes and then took them inside to wash them off. As we stood at the sink together I felt proud and happy. We talked about what radishes taste like, how to use them, and how we could incorporate them into a meal.

We decided on fish tacos, and started making a grocery list: 1/2 a pound of cod, cabbage, limes, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, yogurt and mayo for white sauce. They were absolutely scrumptious, and everyone agreed it was a great dinner. We even threw together a quick fruit crisp for dessert with some of last summer’s apricots I pulled out of the freezer.

Next up from the garden: Will’s cabbage and garlic, Luke’s zucchini. (Zucchini plants are a hit with my kids….see last summer’s post here.)

Fish Tacos:

Baseball Night Buffet

The orange slice smile….classic!

Feeding us all on baseball game nights has been a challenge! We leave the house at 4:30 in the afternoon, not to return until at least 8:30 at night (hello, bedtime!). Eating dinner at home would mean either an absurdly early meal, or a really late night for everyone. Eating dinner at the ballpark means nachos and hot dogs all around. Neither scenario is ideal.

Tonight I packed us a picnic: cantaloupe, snow peas/carrot sticks/cucumber slices, avocado, whole wheat pita, hummus, pb&j’s, and dried pineapple and graham cookies for a treat. Will had his own dinner packed in his baseball bag, including his favorite dugout snack–orange slices!

Everyone ate, everyone ate well, and I can throw them into bed for a good night’s sleep the moment we walk in the front door. Success!

This looks like it could be a great tool! I wonder if I can take a peek at the code book before buying?

See Jen Dance

My CDE noticed my new appreciation for making things from scratch. (Or more often than not, having my husband make things from scratch for me because I hate cooking.) She also noticed that my blood sugars are being poorly affected from miscalculating carb counts in fresh foods.

The quinoa bake was a really good example of the mistakes one can make during insulin dosing. (Seriously… why do pasta and grain packages only give you nutrition information for dry portions?) Since I was getting frustrated not knowing exactly what I was eating when making things from scratch, she suggested I get a scale. But not just any scale – one that measures carbs and other nutrition facts for a multitude of other foods.

I bought one this weekend. Here is my Perfect Portions Nutrition Scale.

IMG_0587

Don’t get me wrong. This is a small investment. My little $5 scale pales in comparison…

View original post 224 more words

Why I’ll Never Buy Microwave Popcorn Again

PopcornI love popcorn. And my kids love popcorn! Plain popcorn is a healthy, crunchy, whole-food snack with only 6 grams of carbohydrate per cup (popped). What I don’t like, however, is popcorn smothered in butter, oil, and sugar and/or salt. I want it PLAIN.

I also want it to be quick, and without a lot of fuss, or an extra appliance to fiddle with. I tried Alton Brown’s Good Eats method once, but the process of shaking a metal bowl of kernels over a gas burner was cumbersome, and it turned my bowl black (and it was HOT!). I need something more kid-friendly.

Enter the microwave, the quintessential convenience tool. Throw in a bag, enter the time, stand back and listen for the POP. Great, right? Except that most of the microwave popcorn found on grocery store shelves is full of ingredients that make me cringe.

Even the few labeled “Home Style” and “Natural,” and the organic varieties, contain tons of oil (usually soybean or palm oils, sometimes partially hydrogenated) and salt. The worst offenders contain nasty ingredients like diacetyl, which gives a butter flavor, chemical preservatives and colorings, and artificial flavoring agents. To top it off, the bags are lined with PFCs (perfluorinated compounds). Yum.

So it dawned on me yesterday that there wasn’t really anything special about microwave popcorn. I have paper bags. I can buy plain popping corn. And sure enough, it was a breeze to make. Here’s what we did:

Evie measures out the popcorn into a brown paper lunch sack

The right amount of popcorn for a brown paper lunch bag is between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup. Our first try resulted in a bag that opened up mid-pop, so we solved that problem by threading it closed with half of a wooden skewer. I think a toothpick would work just as well.

A wooden skewer keeps the full bag closed while the corn pops

A wooden skewer keeps the full bag closed while the corn pops

We set our microwave for 4.5 minutes, and it finished popping around 4 minutes. Every microwave is different, so make sure you listen for when the popping slows to 1 or 2 per second to avoid burning.

Evie pours perfectly fluffy and white popcorn into a bowl

Evie pours perfectly fluffy and white popcorn into a bowl

Open the bag carefully (it’s hot!), pour into a bowl, and munch away! If you’re not really as into plain popcorn as I am, here are some fun recipes to try:

Source: foodgawker.com via Angie on Pinterest

Quick Lunch: Madras Lentils and Spinach

This is my latest go-to quick lunch for busy weekdays, when I often only have the time (and the inclination) to throw something in the microwave. It’s usually dinner leftovers, but those run out. This is a great alternative to a pb&j when you need a speedy meal that’s both filling and healthy.

I buy these shelf-stable packages of Tasty Bite pre-cooked Madras Lentils at the grocery store (in the Natural Foods section at Fred Meyer) or Costco. They contain 2 servings per package, but I’ve found the whole package to be a nice amount for lunch.

INGREDIENTS:
Water, Tomatoes, Lentils, Red Beans, Onions, Cream, Salt, Butter, Sunflower Oil, Chilies, Cumin.

All you have to do is tear the top of the pouch about two inches, toss the whole thing in the microwave for 90 seconds, and then pour it into your favorite bowl.

photo 1

Like so.

photo 2 The lentils will be piping hot at this point. To boost my veggie intake for the day, and to add some crunch, I pile on a big heaping handful of spinach leaves. The hot lentils will wilt the spinach slightly, but you can return it to the microwave for another 60 seconds or so if you like your spinach softer.photo (1)Voilá! A 300 calorie lunch packed with Vitamin A, fiber, B-Vitamins, essential amino acids, and trace minerals, made in under two minutes. Throw a kiwi (or other Vitamin C rich food) onto your plate to increase your iron absorption from the lentils and spinach, and dig in!photo 4

Calories: 307, Carbohydrate: 37 gm, Protein: 8 gm, Fiber: 11 gm. Vegetarian. Gluten-free.

For The Love Of Food

This scrumptious pile of perfectly steamed crab, paired with a chilled glass of a fantastic local white wine, a bit of homemade Cajun aioli, and a plate of wilted spinach with lemon was dinner last night. And what a treat!

We picked up the live crab from a local seafood market, steamed it at home, then spent the next hour talking and eating, while picking luscious, buttery crab meat from the shells. It was tender and rich, and a dab of garlicky aioli was a perfect accompaniment to every bite. Washed down with a crisp, fruity wine…..mmmmm.

Its so satisfying to source beautiful, local, seasonal foods from markets or growers, spend some time learning how to cook and eat them, and then share and enjoy the meal with other people. To discover and appreciate all the flavors and textures and subtleties of whole foods in their natural, unprocessed state.

This is what I love the most about food.

——

You’ve been warned.