New vegetarians are often intimidated by the "weird" ingredients found in so many recipes. Things like agar agar, tempeh, seaweed, even agave can be off-putting to omni's because they are unfamiliar. I am often asked if it's possible to be vegetarian without eating "weird" or hard to find ingredients.
I was reading a great post on Alicia's blog Vegan Epicurean this morning. She has a lovely lemony brussels sprouts soup recipe and a link to an interesting article about the impact of certain raw veggies on cancer cells. We eat a lot of raw onions, garlic, kale, broccoli and brussels sprouts at our house and they are all strongly anti-cancer. Her post reminded me of a simple salad I make using raw brussels sprouts. I'm posting it today since we can all use more ways to include these powerhouse veggies in our diets.
While I am known to eat a variety of "odd" foods for breakfast including brussels sprouts and salads, my absolute favorite breakfast is oatmeal. We all know it is a superfood, loaded with fiber, manganese, magnesium, selenium and thiamin. It's anticancer, helps regulate blood sugar, which is great for diabetics and those interested in weight-loss, and helps prevent heart disease.
Steel cut, old fashioned or quick are all healthy, whole foods. The only oats to avoid are the chemical filled little packets of instant oats. Oats are a great palette to add a variety of healthy fruits, nuts and spices to, and your breakfast can be different each day.
I don't often have time to spend 20-30 minutes standing over a pot and stirring, but since yesterday was a snow day for the kids, I had nowhere to go. After my workout shoveling the 6.5 inches of snow we got, I was craving something warm and creamy. So I came up with this simple yummy risotto. The butternut squash puree made it luxuriously rich and creamy.
Snow gently falling all morning put me in the mood for soup. Potato kale soup is one of my favorites and my basic recipe for it is here.
If you read my blog regularly, you know I have trouble sticking to a recipe, even when it is my own. I always seem to need to tinker with recipes and change things. One of my grandmothers always cooked this way, no recipes. It would make me so mad when I would ask her how to make something and she would say "a pinch of this" and "just enough of that", "until it is done". When I was young I needed an exact recipe to follow. Now I cook like her, but I usually write down what I use so I can share my recipes and my girls can make the recipes they like.
When my brother told me the other day that he's been putting beets in his smoothies, I knew I would have to try it. I love adding beet greens to smoothies, but for some reason it never occurred to me to also add the actual beets. I love beets, but sadly my children did not inherit that taste from me. So adding them to smoothies is a great way to add this powerhouse to their diets. Beets are loaded with folate and manganese as well as fiber and vitamin c. Beets are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. The betacyanin which gives them their color is a cancer fighting agent. They also make the smoothies an amazing color.
Last night my daughter and I went to a meeting at the college she wants to attend, and when we got home this was waiting for me!! While we were gone, my other daughter sneakily baked this cake for me for my birthday :) ( I love you, girls!) While I have never been a big fan of cake, I prefer more fruity, healthier offerings, this is one cake I absolutely adore. Since it's my birthday, I'll enjoy every sugary, fat-filled bite without remorse. And knowing all the love that went into making it, I'll even have a second piece, savoring every morsel. The recipe for this cake is here if you are interested, I adapted it from an Ina Garten recipe. It could easily be healthied up if you choose.
Here are some famous folks who share my birthday:
Nancy Hanks Lincoln- Feb. 5, 1784 ( mother of Abraham Lincoln)
Lafayette Benedict Mendel -February 5, 1872 (American biochemist known for his work in nutrition)
Andrew Greeley- Feb. 5, 1928 (author)
Hank Aaron-Feb. 5, 1934
Don Cherry- Feb. 5, 1934 ( Canadian ice hockey commentator- I love this guy,he's so much fun and he wears the most outlandish suits!)
Christopher Guest- Feb.5, 1948 (from SNL)
Some things that happened on this day in history:
1922- The first issue of Readers Digest Magazine was published.
1936- The National Wildlife Federation was formed.
1958- The US Airforce lost a hydrogen bomb off the coast of Savannah, Georgia and has never found it.
1981- The world's largest Jell-O was made.(9246 gallons of watermelon flavored) ( all I can say is yuck!)
I'll be back on Monday with some healthier fare. Hope you all have a great weekend!
My winter hiatus is now over, and everyone is feeling much better. Thanks for your kind words! I finished painting my library/craft room and am getting everything put back and organized. All of the scrubbing, painting and clean-up has taken a toll on my hands, as has this brutally cold weather of late. So today I am sharing some of my winter hand care tips and recipes.
Excessive hand washing removes moisture and natural oils from the skin. Most commercial liquid hand soaps contain unhealthy harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances. The extreme cold also works to dry and damage the skin. This can result in dry, chapped hands or even painful cracks in the fingertips near the edges of the nails. They resemble deep paper cuts, and while they don't look like much they can cause a lot of pain and interfere with simple everyday tasks. Little things like fastening a button, typing, writing, or any craft work become painful and difficult. If you have ever suffered from this, you know how challenging it is to work with bandaids on every fingertip. If you are lucky enough to never suffer from "winter hands", but like to avoid harsh chemicals and do things as naturally as possible, you may also enjoy my hand care recipes.
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