#1 Romaine lettuce, celery, carrot, tomato, mushrooms, chopped red cabbage. Top with your choice of low calorie dressing (60 calories or less/Tbsp) (By the way a wedge of crisp red cabbage makes a delicious snack – taste tested by my grand kids)
Straight from the Garden!
by Shelby Miller
Just a short share with you all on what I ate today, and how simple it was prepare. I began my morning in my garden where I selected three nice sized leaves from my Brussels sprouts plants - about 8 inches in diameter. I then went on to pick some snow peas, cut some beet greens, a few smaller Swiss chard leaves, and some fresh dill weed (approximately 1 loose cup, including the tender stems). I then washed all of my garden finds and packed in reusable containers for my lunch. From the fridge, I threw in about 1/2 cup of leftover hummus, 1/2 cup each of left over brown rice, pinto beans and around a 1/4 cup leftover carrots from last night. At lunch I then spread each Brussels sprout leaf with equal parts of hummus, then I topped with slivered carrots, fresh snow peas, rice, beans, beet greens, chard, and the dill weed. Oh - I also had sweet grape tomatoes that I halved and threw on top of all of that. I wrapped those up tightly and enjoyed three very healthy, yummy, flavorful wraps - and the bonus, it was really very filling allowing me stay satiated.
This month I am really enjoying the fresh taste of dill so on my way home from work I decided that when I got home I would go back to the garden for more greens and dill. I then cooked some potatoes in the pressure cooker and mashed them with the dill once cooked through. As I sautéed the greens I also added some of the dill at the very end so it could just wilt just a little. I decided to whip the potatoes with some of the cooking water, and a handful of fresh dill weed with my handheld blender. I put potatoes on 1/2 my plate with fresh ground pepper, the sautéed greens on the other half, and feeling like I needed a grain, I sprinkled about a 1/4 c brown rice over it all. Like a little child, I mixed it all up while eating it!
Check back next week for more Wellness Tips and links!
Taking the chore out of cooking
By Ingrid Ashley
Do you ever get home from a long day of working look in the fridge and just want to turn to the take out menu? Trust me, we have all been there! I still have times when it is just not in me to cook a big meal. The beautiful thing is that cooking dinner does not have to be a big meal. Some of the best dishes I have created have been the ones that took all the weekly leftovers and made a casserole or stir fry that was out of this world. The other day Dr. Liz sent me a photo of a simple one skillet dish she threw together that looked so delicious! (See photo below.) When I have one of these moments, I have no choice but turn on loud salsa music (or whatever my kids will tolerate), and turn into the dancing chef! My kids get a kick out of my dancing even joining in on occasion, and the music fuels me along to keep calm and carry on into a healthy dinner for our family. What motivates you to cook? Tell us below!
Pinto beans and kale added to squash, porta bella mushrooms and lightly marinated in Annie's Ginger Marinade with coriander and tumeric add a gentle spiciness to this simple dish!
Time to clear out the freezer!
By Dr. Elizabeth George
My husband and I were getting the garden ready to plant today. (This early we can put in the spinach, lettuce and potatoes). We got the fence mended (we have deer friends and worse, we have a dog, Frodo, who loves to dig up potatoes and eat them!)
That got me to realizing that the summer crop will be coming in before too long, and I haven’t used everything in the freezer. Well, lets make a dent in it tonight. Frozen veggies roast just as easily as fresh – though this is the first I’m trying my frozen potatoes. I gathered up my broccoli, heirloom string beans, potatoes and kale from the freezer. (I also set out a frozen tomatoe sauce – it will work well later this week to add to leftovers –and , yum, throw in some Quinoa).
Meanwhile, I’ll also chop up the fresh veggies. Also, I’ll get the frozen veggies out of the oven in about 15 minutes and see if they can be cut a little smaller.
Sun chokes add a nice zing to potatoes dishes – kind of like parsnips and turnips and kohlrabi do. They are also yummy slivered raw on most any kind of salad – they add a nice crunch and flavor. I cut the carrots in 1- inch pieces – they’re slow cooking so smaller is better. I noticed the onion was actually a scallion (?) – slivered it and spread it over the rest so the flavor could sink in.
And then I opened the spice drawer and looked around to see what inspired me. Oregano jumped out first – shake it on, then cumin, and then dill seemed right and finally pepper. I’m not entirely sure how I decided on these – and we’ll see how they taste! Finally I topped it with some garbanzo beans – but didn’t have as many as I wanted, so I opened some lentils and added a cup. Also I got the frozen kale out and broke off a handful and crumbled it on top of everything; it will come out crispy and delicious. I put it back in the convection oven at 300. (Notice that I did not add any oil to all this. I prefer to get my healthy plant fats from the plants themselves – rather than expressed and extracted into an oil with nutrients and fiber missing. And the bonus is, it’s soooo easy to clean the dishes!
While it’s cooking I’ll make some notes about adding the legumes – garbanzo beans and lentils. They are a wonderful source of protein, magnesium, iron and fiber and many other nutrients. They help diabetics (or anyone for that matter) regulate their blood sugar. Also, they help your blood vessels produce nitric oxide which helps arteries relax, “vasodilate”, be “unsticky”, and reduces inflammation; all of this is wonderful of course for your circulatory system and everything it serves – AKA your whole body! Of course every veggie in this dish with all their different colors adds potassium, a variety of vitamins and other antioxidants, minerals, fibers and more than we’ll ever know!!
Time to taste!! A yummy success – what’s really cool is I can taste the distinctive flavor of each of the different veggies and beans, while they all go well together. Also, all the different veggies maintained their own textures – some are crisper than others, nice!. Tomorrow night I’ll cook some of these up with Farro and that yummy tomatoe sauce thawed from last summer.
Coming soon on our next blog "The standing desk!"
Often I have a large green leafy salad for lunch with a limitless variety of combinations of fruits, veggies, beans and grains. And over the months I’ll share many of those with you, and talk about all those wonderful greens and combining salad “fixings”.
Today however, it’s cold and damp and I felt like cooking something. And the purple fingerling potatoes my husband boiled last night were calling my name. If you haven’t tried fingerling potatoes, I should let you know that they are delicious cooked and eaten with nothing added (and nothing taken away!). Gently wash, leave skins on, no need to cut fingerlings, place in a pot, cover with water, cover the pot, and boil until slightly soft; pour off the water, let them cool a bit and enjoy!.. Of course you can have them as part of a meal, but I walked in the door hungry and enjoyed them as an hors d’eovres.
Today I got the extra fingerlings out of the fridge and looked to see what else caught my eye (and my taste bud fancy). Hmm – lovely organic cherry tomatoes, zucchini and mushrooms.
And, oh yes there was some home garden made gespacho soup that we thawed a few days ago. The mushrooms were starting to dry out a bit, but that’s just fine.
To get ready to stir fry without oil, I put my nonstick pan (I use a ceramic one) on the stove and set it on high (yes high, things stick less if the empty pan is heated to high.)
Then I chopped the veggies and added the veggies that give off the most liquid to the pan first; so in went the tomatoes and zucchini and I turned the heat down to medium.
Then as things started to brown, I stirred with a soft spatula (better than rigid utensils for a nonstick pan) and then added a splash of the soup for a little more liquid.
Cooked a little longer until the tomatoes and zucchinni started to soften and then in went the mushrooms and potatoes and ½ cup more of the soup. Heat it through, and ready to enjoy as a vegetable stew.
Cook until heated through and I could have been done here. But, the 3 bean and corn salsa in the fridge had caught my eye, and I knew that would add a dash of spicey heat, so in went a cup of that.
The dish was delicious and spicey. I think I would also have enjoyed it even without the salsa – the taste of the potatoes, mushroom and zucchini would have popped through a little more. And, I’ve put the rest in the refrigerator in a tupperware container that I’ll grab in the morning to take for my lunch. An apple and kiwi will go in my bag also and some frozen home grown raspberries. Yum!!
Next Blog... a Well Stocked Pantry will share what to have on hand to be creative with meals any day, any time!
Dr. Elizabeth George