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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Foodists

My current “to read” list seems to be getting longer and longer, with 2 books (half read) currently residing on my shelf: Cooked & VB6  http://merig.com/new-additions-to-my-must-read-pile/. Though I don’t have any extra hours in the day, I plan to add yet another book to my food related shelf.  Foodist by Darya Rose. A foodist is a relatively new to me term but I love her philosophy about food which she sums up quite eloquently. “A foodist knows that food is the answer to, not the cause of our health and weight issues. Eating is essential to our survival and our innate drive to do it is too strong to override for long. The solution lies in constructing habits that work with us, not against us, balancing our needs for both health and happiness through food.”  Her latest blog post “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Foodists” are a must read for everyone.  In brief, here is a summary of the list:

Never diet

Regular grocery shopping

Cook at home

10,000 steps

Chew throughly

Value-based decisions

Monitor your progress

 

Check out the complete post….I have this one imprinted in my brain already.

http://summertomato.com/the-7-habits-of-highly-effective-foodists/

15 Ways to Enjoy Edamame

We all know that steamed edamame with a delectable sprinkling of salt make a phenomenal appetizer. Pop those babies in your mouth, strip off the pod with your teeth, discard the carnage and reach for another!

But given that soybeans are nutrient powerhouses, why not get creative and add the precious gems to your regular menu? For just 120 calories per heaping cup of edamame (or 1/2 cup shelled soybeans), you get 11 grams of protein, 9 grams of fiber, 10% of your Daily Value for vitamin C and iron and 8% for vitamin A.

Here are 15 unexpected ways to enjoy cooked and shelled edamame.

1. Green Dip: Puree soybeans with an equal amount of thawed frozen green peas, a little fresh   shallot and garlic, and salt and black pepper to taste; fold in chopped fresh parsley. Serve with whole-grain crackers or pita.

2. Rice and (Soy)Beans: Sauté soybeans in a little olive oil with chili powder and cumin; add to brown rice with green onions, cilantro and fresh lime juice; add hot sauce if desired.

3. Strong Salads: Fold into potato, pasta, seafood and egg salads for a blast of protein.

4. Egg-cellent Breakfast: Add to your morning scrambled eggs.

5. Powerful Pesto: Puree into basil pesto and use as a protein-packed sandwich spread.

6. Super Soup: Add to your favorite soup and chowder recipes for the last few minutes of cooking.

7. Better Burritos: Nestle soybeans into your favorite rice and bean burritos, either in place of the usual beans or in addition.

8. Satisfying Greens: Sprinkle over Waldorf, Caesar and Asian salads (instead of nuts, croutons or fried noodles).

9. Pasta e Fagioli: Add soybeans to ditalini pasta; add tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese.

10. Cool Chili: Add to recipes for vegetarian and beef chili during the last few minutes of cooking.

11. Sucker-Punched Succotash: Use in place of lima beans in succotash (i.e., combine soybeans and corn).

12. Great Guacamole: Mash with avocado, lime, onion, garlic and cilantro to create amazing guacamole.

13. Stronger Grains: Add to brown rice pilaf recipes and side dishes made with couscous and quinoa.

14. Wok On: Toss into stir-fries for the last few minutes of cooking.

15. Ravioli: Puree with herbed cream cheese or herbed spreadable cheese (like Laughing Cow, Boursin or Alouette) and use between two wonton wrappers to make ravioli.

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.

Weekly Wisdom – Food Rules Part 3

If it came from a plant, eat it;
if it was made in a plant, don’t!

Source: Michael Pollen, Food Rules

 

Get to the Farmer’s Market!

Have you been to the Farmer’s Market lately? If not, I encourage you to wake up early Saturday morning and get downtown (or wherever your bounty market is housed). Right now the Farmer’s Market is bursting with fresh, local produce which equals fresh, flavorful meals (and healthy to boot). My kitchen is overflowing with summer squash, cucumbers & fresh tomatoes. My mantra this summer is simplicity and most nights we cut up the squash, roast it on the grill and flavor with salt & pepper (or even a little olive oil); it doesn’t take much. My husband whips up a quick tomato sauce by simply roasting the fresh tomatoes on the grill, adding some fresh herbs and pureeing with our immersion blender. Love fruit? No preparation needed other than rinsing off those fresh berries that are at the height of their flavor.

It’s time to get out of that cold, air-conditioned grocery store and head to the market! Remember, summer won’t last long! Here is one of our favorite recipes for summer squash.

 

Summer Squash Soup

(Original recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Deborah Madison, modified)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 1/4 pounds zucchini, crookneck, or pattypan squash-roasted or grilled

1/2 cup chopped parsley (I often use thyme or mix the herbs)

6 cups vegetable stock OR water

salt & freshly milled pepper

lemon juice (for flavor garnish)

 

Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the parsley and/or thyme (must be fresh). Stir to
coat with the oil, then add 1/2 cup stock, stir to heat.
Add the vegetables, stir to mix. Cool vegetables slightly and then add to a blender (I use the Vita-mix), half the stock and puree. Keep adding stock till the soup is the preferred consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.  

*Alternatively, I often skip the first step and simply throw the grilled vegetables, fresh herbs and stock right into the Vita-mix. Since this blender is so powerful, this does the trick.

Grilled Chicken with Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Serves 6

1/2c - olive oil
1/4c - fresh lemon juice
2T - fresh chopped basil leaves
2t - fresh garlic
1t - black pepper

8 - 4oz boneless chicken breasts
1pt - baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
1T - fresh chopped basil leaves
        sea salt

  1. Make marinade-process first 5
    ingredients in blender, divide in half
  2. Marinate chicken in 1/2 of
    marinade for 2-4 hours
  3. Mix second half marinade with
    tomatoes, 1T basil & 1t sea salt
  4. Salt chicken, grill to 170 degrees, thinly slice
  5. Top sliced chicken with salsa 

Weekly Wisdom – Food Rules Part 2

Eat foods made from ingredients you can picture in a raw state or growing in nature!

  •  Can you picture Twinkie or Pringles ingredients in their raw state or growing?
  •  …or ingredients such as beef fat, cellulose gum, dextrose, wheat starch, MSG? Likely not.
  •  This rule will keep all sorts of chemicals & “food like substances” out of your diet

Source: Michael Pollen, Food Rules

Weekly Wisdom – Food Rules Part 1

Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap!

Source: Michael Pollen, Food Rules

Got Weeds? Use Vinegar!

Weeds in your gravel path or walkway?

  • Use cheap, undiluted, store­brand white vinegar
  • Use watering can, bottle or pump sprayer to apply
  • Use vinegar instead of toxic name brands!

Caution – DO wait for a calm (not windy) day, since vinegar is not selective and will also
harm grass & ornamentals
Source: www.agardenforthehouse.com

Dinner party with world class Chef

During a recent trip to Chicago I had the dining experience of a lifetime. I was the “date” to my cousin Kellie who was invited to a personal dinner party featuring world class Chef Rene De Leon. I thought this dinner party would “merely” involve indulging in his fine cooking. Imagine my surprise when he actually put us to work, chopping vegetables and stuffing dumplings. From spring rolls to dumplings to whole fish, we assisted Chef Rene in preparing a feast of flavors. I spent most of the night in awe of this amazing chef who has cooked at acclaimed restaurants such as Next & Alinea. What an incredible night with great conversation and stellar food. 

Click here for a peek into the dinner party

The Roanoke food scene

A friend & I decided to walk around downtown Roanoke Saturday evening. I used to go downtown just about every weekend, but it’s been years since I spend any time there. There are all different types of stores-you can get high-end designer clothing, uniforms, ‘hippie’ attire (think tie dye). There are several art galleries, jewelry stores, bead shops, what-not or tshatshki stores, sweet shops & bakeries and so on-just about anything you want or need can be found in the 3-4 blocks of the downtown market-including a huge farmers market on Saturdays. In addition of the fresh produce, meats, dairy & baked goods you would expect to find, there are local artisans selling furniture, jewelry, soap, etc.

The most pleasant surprise was how many cool new restaurants there are! The newly renovated Market Building has NY style subs, Japanese food, burgers, salads, pizza, and a couple other cool kiosks. My favorite (and where my friend & I had dinner Saturday) was the Cuban place, Habana. You can access it from inside the market building as a grab & go option or you can get a table-inside or out, and be waited on.

I had a house salad with avocado vinaigrette. It wasn’t as good as I remember Carlos’ Brazilian cuisine dressing being, but still very tasty! The Cuban roast pork with black beans & rice was delicious. The pork was tender, and the rice & beans very flavorful. I will definitely go back!

Another place I’d like to try is the Lebanese restaurant on Campbell. I’ve heard their falafel is the best around. I’ve been to Alejandro’s-great Mexican! Nawab has an excellent Indian buffet. And in my opinion, Picaso pizza has the best pizza in Roanoke!

If you’re in the area-stop in to downtown & check out the scene. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!