Category Archives: Recipes

Let’s talk kale!

Every time I mention kale to my mother she groans and rolls her eyes saying “I don’t like kale.”  Talk about a role reversal. I tell her (like a mother would), “I just don’t think you’ve given it a chance or had it prepared the right way.”  Personally, I’ve just learned how to massage my kale and it has made kale easy, quick, and delicious.

Of course, every time I’ve told people I’ve been massaging my kale they look at me like I’m crazy, except my niece in Oregon who is the one who actually inspired me to do this. She credits me with inspiring her to explore the world of good food many years ago.  Now she’s returning the favor and turning me on to her favorite ways of making things.  She and her husband have the flair for the creative when it comes to cooking.  You wouldn’t believe the number of vegetables they can put in a blender and get their kids to eat! Continue reading

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The metabolism of gratitude

For a few months now, every Monday night I have been getting together with a couple of girlfriends to have dinner.  We meet at one of our houses and everybody brings something to share.  It is a wonderful way to cut down on how much cooking one person has to do, you get a fabulous meal, and share great company.  Before the meal this week I read an excerpt from A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to the Beatles with Bookmark” by M. J. Ryan.  This is not something I normally do with others and my friends were so moved at the reading that we stopped and talked about the idea expressed before beginning to eat.  This book has brought back the beauty of stopping to give thanks before eating (something we always did when I was a child) and to reflect on what has heart and meaning.  I encourage you to notice what happens if you pause before eating, even when you’re alone, and remember how much there is to be grateful for.   The slowing down will help your metabolism kick in even before you eat.  I call it the “metabolism of gratitude.” 

By the way, an omelette, green salad, and potato salad make a superb summer dinner.  The omelette had shitake mushrooms, goat cheese, zuchinni, swiss chard, garlic, and onion.  The green salad had tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin seeds, and avacodo.  My friend brought the potato salad so I don’t know all of the ingredients.  However, everything was from a local garden or business and tasted like heaven.

An excerpt from A Grateful Heart: Continue reading

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Sustainable Eating: Better for your Health, your Environment, and your World

I’ve mentioned the benefits of local eating in previous posts, such as by gardening and by frequenting the Farmer’s Market. Now I want to explain how seasonal eating relates to this idea, and why we should consider the sustainable alternative to the industrial food industry.

Eating sustainably includes eating locally because it’s a great way to support individual communities.  It connects communities to the source of their food, provides local farmers with financial support, and eliminates the need to truck in food from all over the country, or even from all over the world! This is where seasonal eating comes into play. Continue reading

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Having a peak experience with food!

This week in my Eat for Life class I asked people to explore the world of food in order to so have more pleasure in their eating experiences.   You know how you can get in a rut with food–eating the same thing for breakfast, lunch, dinner day in and day out.  This week I implored them to really find out how much pleasure food can bring.   Try some new food.  Try a new restaurant.  Try a new recipe. Set the table with placemats, real napkins, flowers, candles, etc.  Do anything to shake it up a bit.

For myself, as luck would have it, the summer farmers’ market just opened up last Saturday and the Troutdale Farm folks were there with their unbelievably luscious fresh trout.  I invited a friend over and I grilled trout on the grill (only takes 6 minutes).  I grilled asparagus in the broiler (only takes 3 minutes).  And, I prepared a salad with fresh spinach and mixed greens (that I got from the market) along with avocado, tomatoes, carrots, red pepper, and pecans (topped with my favorite homemade salad dressing).  So first of all, we are talking about a QUICK meal and not expensive.  I bought four pieces of trout (skinned and filleted) for only $11 and change.  We only ate two pieces so I still had more left over for the next day.  QUICK and INEXPENSIVE but INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS and my dinner guest was duly impressed.  Not with me, necessarily, but with the quality of the food and the taste.  I had commented on how everything was bursting with flavor and he said, “except the carrots.”  This person has pretty refined taste buds and could tell that the carrots were a little old.  (Kind of embarrassing for me, but that’s okay).   I thought it was amazing that he noticed.  Talk about a mindful eater!

Anyway, I waited a little while to let our food settle and I remembered I had the most delicious chocolate in the world sitting in my kitchen.  I had ordered it for Valentine’s Day to give to all my favorite people and I still had some left over.  I pulled it out and offered it to my friend.  The expression on his face was priceless. He was almost moved to tears and described it as a  “peak experience.”  I almost fell over in my chair laughing.  What a pleasure to give someone else that kind of delight in food.

So the two things that you might be asking are:  (1) what is your favorite homemade salad dressing? and (2) what is the name of that chocolate?

Here you go:

(1) Favorite Homemade Salad Dressing

3 Tb. Orange juice, 2 Tb. Balsamic Vinaigrette, 2 Tb. Olive Oil, 1 clove pressed garlic, salt, pepper, and other herbs to your taste (I often use basil or herbs de Provence)

(2) The “Chocolate” – Olive Oil and Sea Salt Chocolate Bar by Poco Dolce, handmade artisan chocolates from San Francisco.  You can order it online.  Seriously—it is a “peak experience.”

Come to think of it, I think there is just a little bit left in that chocolate bar and I’m going togo  mindfully savor it right now.

Go out and have your own “peak experience” with food!

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Soggy burger and fries vs. warm winter squash with your favorite filling ?

Let me just say that I don’t eat at Burger King or any other fast food restaurant to begin with, so I would definitely not order Burger King for home delivery.   However, if you live in the Washington, D.C. area  you can now call in your order if you live within a 10 minute drive from a store.   Soggy burger and fries direct to your home within 30 minutes of the time a phone or online order is received.  Well, that isn’t how they are advertising it, but one can only imagine.   In that same 30 minute period, you could prepare a delicious, healthy meal on your own.  Here’s my latest creation that was easy and fast to make, not expensive, tasty and delicious, good for you, and with at least one local and seasonal ingredient (meeting my criteria for “healthy fast food”). 

The recipe starts with squash, a local ingredient that I bought at the winter farmers’ market.  Continue reading

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