Posted on June 24th, 2010 2 comments
Who to believe ?
The USDA recently revised their dietary guidelines once again. And, once again, they are so far off the mark of what constitutes a healthy diet. I have been researching nutrition for a long time and in the last few years discovered the work of Dr. Weston Price. He advocated eating a traditional diet of meat, fats such as butter, lard, coconut oil, raw dairy products, lots of vegetables and fruit, and staying away from grains and any processed foods. I know some of you have issues and your own ideas about the fats but once you read the research and once you start eating that way, you will change your mind.
In a brief summary, the new guidelines advise the reduction of saturated fat even further, the further reduction of salt, advocates increasing the consumption of grains and low fat products and dairy.
As you can imagine there has been much discussion of this in the blogosphere and twitterverse ( this post I especially like). My comments are that history shows us that obesity rates rose significantly after the introduction of the world of lowfat foods. And that the USDA has many ties to the food industry so the individuals involved in making these decisions benefit greatly financially from encouraging people to eat processed food!
I encourage you to read the new guidelines here and the comments from the Weston Price Foundation here . I also encourage you to leave your comments. We need to be educated and not let the government continue to wreak havoc with our health and with the livelihoods of the small farmers . We all stand to lose from these new guidelines, and I don’t mean weight!
This post is part of the Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday.
Posted on June 22nd, 2010 3 comments
Fresh Arugula Pesto
In my For Life! personal chef business, I really focus on making my clients’ meals from seasonal and local produce and products. Well, you cannot get much more local than one’s own backyard! I don’t have a great place for a garden bed. Where there is room, there isn’t full sun. So, I have a couple small garden boxes. Sadly, only one of them is productive at the moment, but, as always, in the garden, there are plans and time for planting the other one. Today I noticed that my arugula is starting to bolt ( flower) and is getting eaten by some critter, so it needed to be picked and eaten. Not a difficult or painful task. I do eat a salad every day but I wanted to do something a bit more interesting with today’s harvest. Aha! Arugula pesto. The word “pesto” comes from the Latin, meaning to crush. It is Italian in origin though they have a version, called “pistou” in France. It is usually made from basil, but essentially any green herb will do. I have made pesto from basil, arugula,parsley, or cilantro. It is combined with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. You can substitute any nuts. When I used the cilantro, I used macadamia nuts and it became ” Hawaiian Pesto”. Walnuts are excellent to use in this way, especially if you are a vegetarian and want to ramp up your Omega 3 fatty acids. Originally, pesto was crushed with a mortar and pestle. Thankfully now we have food processors. If I had an Italian nonna ( gramma) by now she would be rolling over in her grave as she sees me moving away from the traditional basil/pine nut blend. I will shock her further by telling you that is is perfectly ok to leave out the cheese and make it dairy free. Mamma mia!
2 cups fresh arugula, washed and dried
1 garlic clove, smashed and roughly chopped
1/4 c. toasted pine nuts ( you can toast them in a dry skillet over medium high heat. Watch carefully, and toss them around a few times. It doesn’t take long)
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil ( use the best organic oil that you can find)
1/4 c. grated Parmegiano Reggiano cheese ( grate your own. it tastes ever so much fresher)
Place all of the ingredients except the cheese in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped and blended. Put in a bowl and mix in the cheese.
Pesto is so versatile. Have it on a salad. It is a great topping for meat ( steak as I did, or chicken, fish). Toss it with some pasta. Use it in an omelet or as a pizza topping. I so appreciate recipes with multiple applications. If that Italian nonna has gotten over her shock, I am sure she would tell us to “Mangia bene!” Eat well, and enjoy the freshness of good healthy local organic food. And don’t worry about garlic breath.
Posted on June 15th, 2010 2 comments
Early Summer Salad all wrapped up!
Burritos, eggrolls, crepes, summer rolls, sandwiches in a flour tortilla… food in its own edible package. These are all so yummy and so not on my list of foods to eat. There be gluten, Captain! ( my favorite Star Trek movie was the one about the whales. This is my homage to the scene where Mr. Scott, always my favorite, managed to beam these beautiful whales aboard the ship. Sorry, I digress ) Why not wrap it all up in a vegetable package. Collard greens fit that bill nicely, due to their size and “toughness” and as a side benefit they are packed with good nutrition and mostly can be found fresh year round.
The only limit to the possibilities here is your imagination and what you have available. Use seasonal vegetables. Add beans. Get creative with the herbs and spices. Don’t like chicken ? I was wishing I had some shrimp. It certainly can be vegetarian or vegan with the addition of tofu or cheese.
Early Summer salad Collard Wraps
one serving ( I could have eaten another one), just multiply by how many people you want to serve
2 large collard greens leaves, trimmed and steamed ( cut out the tough part of the stem, you want to be able to fold it), cooled ( i used a pinch of salt in the steaming water)
for the salad:
Total of 1 – 1 1/2 cups of the following ingredients – thinly sliced fennel, mung bean sprouts, sunflower sprouts, daikon radish, grated carrots, scallions, basil, mint. ( go wild! celery would be good, summer squash, peas, red radishes, bell pepper. just keep the pieces small)
4 oz. chopped cooked chicken ( oh please make sure you used pasture raised, free range chickens. They may be hard to find but oh so worth it!)
for the dressing:
2 T. tahini
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. raw honey
1 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
for the dipping sauce:
1/4 c. whole milk yoghurt
curry powder to taste ( again, use your imagination. chili powder ? cilantro? rosemary or thyme? garlic ?
Lay out the steamed collard green on a clean surface. Smear a Tablespoon or so of the tahini mixture across a portion of the green. You will need a bit at the top of the leaf to help seal the final fold. Top that with a handful of the salad mix. Top with 2 oz of the chicken. Fold in the sides of the leave and roll from the bottom. I only got one fold . It works a bit better if the leaf is still damp from the steaming. Make it tight and neat to keep the filling in.
Dip into the sauce and eat. Easy! Delicious and good for you!
This post is part of the Tuesday Twister on GNOWFLINS .