Tag Archives: Garlic

A Fail and a Win

So, the fail is that I didn’t post a “Monday Healthy Eating blog” as I’d promised. This week is nuts for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is playing catch-up from the week I took off between Christmas and New Year’s. It’s pretty difficult to find a convenient time to take a week off in my business, but the week between two holidays is almost always good timing for the majority of my clients; so, I make the most of it. Anyway, the point is that I was so busy catching up that I apparently fell behind.

The win is I had a spectacular time over my break, and you’ll see some of it coming up in the form of wine pairings using local vintages. So, there’s that to look forward to.

But, to remedy my fail from Monday, here’s some more catch-up:

Healthy Eating Tip of the Week: Vegetables. Eat them. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but I wanted to reiterate it here because so many people tell me “I don’t like vegetables,” or “my kids don’t like vegetables.” And I wanted to say, to quote a friend “Suck it up, buttercup.” You need those veggies, and so do your kids.  They have fiber, they have antioxidants, they have vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.  Find good ways to prepare a variety of colorful veggies, and you’ll be healthier all around, from the tip of your not-running nose to the bottom of your strong-boned toes.

And, that’s the catch. You need to find good ways to prepare vegetables. Mushy and gray is not a recipe for yummy. So, here’s a few ideas to help you start this year off with veggies:

-Roasting is your friend. You can roast almost any vegetable and it gets better. Many of my clients, kids included, thought they hated broccoli until they had it tossed in olive oil and roasted. Carrots coated in some balsamic vinegar and roasted caramelize into these wonderful orange nuggets of fabulousness.  Even many kids like beets that have had a bit of salt, pepper, EVOO, and garlic tossed into a roaster for 45 minutes or so. And, roasting helps preserve many of the lost in steaming or boiling.

-Do not overcook your vegetables. Al dente, trust me.

-Flash fry your green beans in a dry pan, adding a coating of garlic powder and a touch of salt a minute or two before they’re done. The garlic powder will sear, and give the beans a smoky garlic flavor that goes really well with everything from Chinese to Pot Roast.

Kabob. Kids love kabobs. They’re a really fun way to do vegetables. Just cut into 1 inch chunks, toss with (you guessed it) some olive oil, skewer and grill, bake, or broil. You can add some spices or a marinade if you want. Serve over rice.

-Use your peeler to make zucchini and squash into noodles, and use like spaghetti. Or, roast up a spaghetti squash and use the meat instead of pasta (this is great with pesto or red sauce, but also with richer dishes like stroganoff).

Those are just a few ideas. Get creative! It’ll not only keep you healthier, but also help trim your budget, since veggie are typically cheaper than meats.


Monday Healthy Eating, Oct. 18, 2010

Again, just under the wire. I was gone the latter part of last week and all weekend, and didn’t get to blog.  But, here it is, still on Monday!

Today’s healthy eating tip: Spice It Up. As Shepard Book once said, “A man can eat gooey protein his whole life as long as he has rosemary.” Or something like that. The point is, spice is life. Oh, wait, that’s Dune

Sci-Fi quotes aside, spices of all kinds are a necessity for my healthy eating plan, and they should be for yours, too. Spices allow you to create new and interesting things from around the world! (Now, before we get started, step away from the salt shaker. Salt is not, and should not be, your primary spice.)

So, what do you do with spices? What kinds of spices should your kitchen have? How do you learn  what spices go with what food? Answers: Put them in everything, all that you can get your hands on, and trial and error.

There are the top spices, the easy ones that add something to many different kinds of dishes, and ones that no kitchen should be without: quality peppercorns, rosemary, basil, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, oregano, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, and probably a few others I am missing. You can toss these into almost anything (nothing makes a cream sauce pop like a hint of nutmeg), and they work with a variety of cuisines from Mexican to Italian to Creole. This is where trial and error start. Always start with a little spice and go up, because it’s easier to add more than to figure out how to counteract the overwhelming sweet basil in your tomato sauce.

Now that you have the basics, here are some of my less-well-known (at least among many Americans) spices: fenugreek (Ethiopian food), smoked paprika (Mexican, Ethiopian, Indian, etc.), black smoked sea salt (I put this in everything from eggs to caramel–seriously, this stuff would make cow dung taste good), cardamom seeds (great for scented rices and desserts), and mixed peppercorns (a deeper pepper flavor).

Really, just experiment. Spices help keep food fun, and let you create a whole variety of dishes with rich flavors that don’t have rich calories! Many spices have also been shown to have medicinal properties. Tumeric, for example, can help fight diabetes. Spices can also save you money–making your own BBQ rub, cider mulling packet, or taco seasoning is much cheaper than buying the premixed packets. And, by making your own you can skip the icky additives like MSG. So, swing by the baking isle and pick up something new.