Prior to this year I don’t ever recall eating kale before. I even discussed it with a few of my friends, and they also weren’t sure if they had eaten it before either (have you?). I don’t know what it is about the name “kale”, but the sound of it just isn’t appealing for some reason. However, things have changed and since I am trying my best to buy and eat local foods, I decided to go out on a limb and try it! I first discovered that kale can be substituted for (and even added to) spinach in some recipes like creamed spinach. I of course couldn’t get my daughters to even think about wanting to eat that. But (drum roll, please) when I received this super easy recipe below, courtesy of my husband’s step-mom, not only did my children like it, but they loved it and kept asking for more! I will add that when my daughter first saw this greenish looking dish, just like any 2-yr-old would, she said “I don’t like that” without even trying it. She did follow the rule of trying at least one bite though, and with surprise in her voice she said “I like the kale” and then kept eating it. And I have to agree that I was also surprised how good something with the name “kale” could turn out to be!
Archives for April 2010
If you missed the documentary Food, Inc. on PBS last week, don’t worry because I took notes on some of the highlights (below). You can also rent it through Netflix or Blockbuster, or purchase it on Amazon (or rent from Amazon Prime). You now officially have no more excuses to not be enlightened by this movie! Supermarkets and Corn – The tomatoes you buy in the grocery store are picked when green and then ripened with ehtylene gas The food industry doesn’t want you to know the truth about what you are eating because if you did you might not eat it – it is a world deliberately hidden from us Most people have no idea where their food comes from (do you?)
My girls love to help me make this recipe. My 5-yr-old can practically mix and pat out the crust all by herself (if she can do it so can you!) while my 2-yr-old happily stirs the egg mixture. We decided to make our quiche half ham and cheese and half goat cheese and tomato the other night, but there are many tasty things that you can add to this dish depending on your mood (and the contents of your fridge). Quiche is no longer just a breakfast dish with all of these options to consider: sautéed mushrooms, caramelized shallots or onions, broccoli, bacon, sausage, swiss cheese, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs…the possibilities are endless! Whenever I serve quiche both of my girls always ask for seconds – which can make any mom’s day. It is good leftover the next day too, and you can also try to freeze it once it has been baked. In my opinion it is not quite as spectacular after it has been frozen, but it is still pretty tasty and incredibly convenient!
A couple of people have asked me “what do you eat exactly?” so I decided to keep a little journal last week. For 3 consecutive days I wrote down everything that both my daughters (ages 2 and 5) and I ate. My husband mostly ate the same thing as I did, but I didn’t include him in this journal because he was working and I don’t keep tabs on him like I do my children! When I first went through the transition of cutting out processed foods myself, I remember feeling like it would be so difficult (almost impossible) to come up with enough variety and options for us to eat. It has gotten so much easier over time, and I hope this rather personal depiction of our eating habits might help others make the transition too!
If you even remotely like banana bread then you will absolutely love these pancakes. And if you don’t like bananas then you can substitute another fruit (like blueberries or raspberries), but I think the banana is the secret ingredient that adds the right amount of sweetness to balance out the whole-wheat flavor. If you really want some berries in there consider adding them in addition to the bananas. The other great thing about this recipe is that the leftover pancakes freeze beautifully (and we usually do have some leftovers). Just layer them in-between pieces of wax paper inside a freezer-safe zip lock bag. Then one morning when you are racing around trying to get the kids out the door for school just pull a couple of pancakes out of the freezer, heat for a minute or two and voila! I am all about convenience.
You may think growing your own vegetables sounds like a daunting task, but starting small with some potted plants can be surprisingly easy (even for someone who doesn’t have a green thumb). Last year was my first year with a garden and let’s just say….I learned a lot about what not to do again this year! I definitely have room for improvement as a gardener myself, but I know that when a vegetable you planted does well, it can be extremely satisfying. “The food you grow yourself is fresher than any you can buy,” says Michael Pollan, and I have to say that I didn’t even think I liked tomatoes until I tried homegrown ones. I was amazed at the difference in taste compared to what you can buy at the grocery store (not to mention how much more nutritious homegrown vegetables are). We already established that farmers’ markets and CSA’s are fabulous resources for getting fresh, locally grown produce, but why not consider growing some food yourself?
You have to wonder…if one of the main ingredients in Half & Half is cream (which is perceived as fattening) then what in the world do they use to make “fat free” Half & Half? And what about mayonnaise? A recipe for homemade mayo calls for oil and eggs – both contain fat grams. So how do they make “fat free” mayonnaise? And should we really be eating it? I was surprised to learn that there actually used to be a food industry regulation requiring manufacturers to clearly label foods like these as an “imitation”. Of course these products were looked down upon, and so it is no surprise that the ever-so-powerful food industry hated this rule. According to Michael Pollan “in 1973 [they] finally succeeded in getting the imitation rule tossed out.” Suddenly, what was once almost considered to be fraud now in some cases appeared to be even healthier than the real thing (if you are only judging by added nutrients and reduced fats that is).
The key to making this dish “real food” is ensuring that the corn tortillas you use are 100% whole-grain. Reading food labels can be confusing as it is, but trying to figure out what products are truly 100% whole-grain is especially hard. Very few food labels say “whole corn” as the main ingredient so you either have to keep looking or make the tortillas yourself (with Masa Harina and a tortilla press). I’ve searched grocery stores high & low and was able to find one brand of corn tortillas that proudly states they are made with “whole corn.” They are located in the freezer section of Earth Fare next to the other frozen breads products and they are called: Food for Life Sprouted Corn Tortillas. Chicken Enchiladas Course: Main Course Adapted from Rachael Ray on foodnetwork.com. Eat one casserole and freeze the other! Print Ingredients 12 corn tortillas 1 whole chicken rotisserie, or boiled 1 cup brown rice cooked 1 cup frozen corn 3 tablespoons tomato paste 1 teaspoon chili powder plus extra 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 teaspoon cumin ground 3 cups tomato sauce with no salt added if you can find it 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese grated Optional Toppings / Add-Ons sour cream cilantro avocado guacamole Instructions Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Wrap corn tortillas in foil and warm in the oven while you prepare everything else. Shred cooked chicken using forks. Mix in 3 tablespoons tomato paste, ½ cup grated cheese, rice, frozen corn kernels (no need to defrost them), 1 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon ground cumin. For the sauce combine 3 cups tomato sauce, cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder and heat through, keeping warm until needed. Remove […]
My 2-year-old daughter, like many other young children, dealt with constipation issues for quite some time. I know it is a lovely subject to address…but there is no denying the fact that what comes out of you is a good indicator of the health of your body. My recent motivation to cut out processed foods started because I thought it was the right thing to do. Never did I expect such a drastic and sudden change in my daughter. She used to have such problems with constipation that she would only have one bowel movement, on average, every other day. Sometimes even three or four days would go by, and sometimes it would take less time. And this was after giving her a tall glass of prune juice every morning (that for some reason she would drink willingly).
There are so many reasons why I love these biscuits. First of all, they are super easy to make and no special equipment (like a rolling pin or biscuit cutter) is needed. It takes no more than 15 or 20 minutes to make them from mixing the dough to pulling them out of the oven. Then once they are done they are moist and flaky and so tasty (c’mon, look at the picture – you know you want one!). And the best part is that they freeze and reheat beautifully (I just throw the frozen biscuits in the toaster oven on the bake setting). So make a big batch, freeze a bunch in a gallon zip lock freezer bag, and then the next time you want to add a biscuit to your breakfast, lunch or dinner they are ready to go. It honestly couldn’t be easier…so go ahead and throw away that refrigerated tube of dough you bought from the grocery store!
Since I am guessing you weren’t around prior to the 1900’s, you may not realize that the way most of us Americans eat today is dramatically different from how our ancestors ate for thousands and thousands of years. Our so-called “Western diet” of processed foods only began around the turn of the last century and also taught us that we should be more concerned about calories, nutrients, fat grams, and vitamins rather than just eating the whole foods given to us by nature that people have survived on since the dawn of agriculture. Since this new way of eating was introduced there has been a simultaneous rise in chronic diseases