Thursday, July 24, 2014

To Be Organic or Not To Be Organic...

The Washington Post recently reported on Consumer Reports' Food Safety and Sustainability Center consideration of whether organic foods are worth the extra money.

For fruits and vegetables, they concluded that the priority to use organic is "high" to avoid pesticide residue.  They labeled beef and dairy "medium to high" priority for nutritional benefits (limited antibiotic use, more heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids especially with grass fed animals).  They also labeled poultry "medium to high" priority to avoid the antibiotics in regular chickens as well because organic chickens can not be fed what is called "poultry litter" which is a mix of chicken droppings, spilled feed and feathers.

Food for thought.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Irish Soda Bread


Maybe it was Maddy talking about making Irish scones with some friends who'd all spent some time in Dublin or maybe it was the bottle of farm fresh buttermilk that called out to me from the refrigerator shelf at the market or maybe it was the bag of locally ground wheat flour I recently purchased. I don't know.  But Irish soda bread has been on my mind for days, and today was finally the day.  Not too hot out, stuck in the house while the tree service chips the fallen limbs from my lovely maple, half gone now.

This is a pretty straightforward recipe adapted from Merrill Stubbs at food52. I've written about her recipe before, and linked to it directly, but over the last couple of years, I've made more changes so I thought I'd write about it again and add in my changes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Eating Well


Over the years, I've come up with some "healthier" truths that I use for my own eating and for cooking for my family and that inform my recipes here on the blog. As is obvious on the "pages" here, I'm not into extremes or completely omitting entire food groups, but I try to cover many bases of health while maintaining flavor and enjoyment. I favor a mixed/balanced approach, loosely based on the NIH created DASH diet and a love of Mediterranean cooking of all sorts, along with a little portion control and some exercise.

Many have provided rules for healthier eating that I like and adopt:

Of course, Michael Pollan: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Marion Nestle (Nutritionist and Professor at NYU): "My guess: If you balance food intake with physical activity and are not overeating, the specific proportion of fat, carbohydrate, and protein won’t matter nearly as much."

and

"While the arguments about fat v. sugar go on and on:  Eat your veggies, vary the foods you eat, don’t gorge, and enjoy what you eat."

David Katz (Yale University Prevention Research Center): "A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominately plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention."

Now, Eating Well magazine has just come out with a list of 10 ways to cook healthier.  I'm linking it here, but please be warned that although I like the magazine itself, its online presence is quite annoyingly littered with pop ups and ads and forces you to see their list in slide show format rather than as one article, which I can not stand and seems to be the norm for these magazine lists.

But this list is pretty similar to what I've been saying here for years, though other than in my "Why I'm Here" piece, haven't set out so concretely and perhaps should have.  So here, with my usual caveat that I am not a doctor or nutritionist and don't even play one on tv, is my list of top things to do for eating healthier:

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Thanks, food52!

Nothing like a James Ransom photo to make your food look amazing!

Just saw yesterday that food52 selected one of my recipes, for a Community Pick, the best part of which is that the recipe now sports a fabulous photo taken by Ransom - much better than anything I could hope to take. Very excited and thrilled for the nod!

It's still a little early for local corn in most places, but keep this group of Community Picks in your pocket for when it starts making its appearance.  My recipe is right up top, Sauteed Corn, Green Onions and Shitake Mushrooms. If you click either on the name of the recipe or the picture, you can click right through to the recipe on food52. Or, you can go directly to the recipe from here.

And while you're there, check out the other great corn recipes, including the two that are finalists this week!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Cooking Ideas


I guess it's pretty lazy and cheesy to repost my Memorial Day Weekend roundup from 2011, but really, all the recipes I wanted to put in this are already there!

So accept my apologies for the quick and easy approach and check out some ideas here.

Have a great weekend and take a moment out of the festivities to remember our fallen.