Category Archives: diet basics

KALE recipe & a cooking quick tip

Hey, eaters! It’s been awhile. Because of the “pile of school work on my desk” [metaphorically speaking], this will be a rather short post. To some of you, this cooking/eating tip might come across a bit “duh,” but it took me this long to figure it out.

Enough with the disclaimers.

Cooking can be a bit of a burden on one’s day. There’s the buying, the preparing, the cleaning, and the never-ending quest for new and creative things to eat. So, say you’ve done all the busywork and you’ve stumbled upon a recipe or idea that you are ready to try out. You spend hours [or however long] cooking, and it’s delicious. You eat, clean up, and wake up the next day thinking, “damn, I have to do all that again?” 

Part of me believes that the somewhat depressing cyclical nature of consumption is why some people choose to rely heavily on prepared meals and eating out. This brings me to the tip:

and y'all know that pyrex is the sexiest tupperware

When cooking, prepare more than you will eat in one meal. Save the rest in individual serving sized bags or tupperware. 

Seriously, do this for any meal that can be frozen or refrigerated and heated later. This is not to say you should make one extra fried egg and freeze it, because that is pointless. If you are making vegetable stir-fry, though, make double – your veggies won’t go bad in your fridge when you make a bulk purchase, and you can just re-heat your food for a quick meal. Every time I pull a single-serving of homemade vegetable soup out of my freezer I want to kiss myself, seriously.

Speaking of which, if you are freezing, do so in plastic baggies with the date written on it so you know on what day you were awesome enough to prepare lunch for your future self.

 

 

Recipe : Lemon’d Kale with Caramelized Onions

you’ll need:

love you, kale

1 onion [your choice] – cut into bite-size pieces

[i enjoy long, skinny pieces]

1/2 lemon

a mess of kale [kale cooks down really quickly – two

hungry people can finish one grocery store bunch!]

salt and pepper

butter

the process: 

remove kale from stem and cut or tear into small-ish pieces

heat butter in a cast-iron skillet [if you have one] – enough in which to thoroughly bathe the onions

once butter is a-bubblin’, add onions and cover. cook until soft, a little brown, and irresistible-smelling

at the same time, place kale in large/deep frying pan.

add a couple splashes of water and more butter and turn on heat.

cook until the kale has wilted significantly and the color is deep green [i’d say around 7 minutes] – remember to stir!

add onions, lemon juice and salt and pepper to kale before serving

serve warm as a side dish

you might have spotted this gem on broad street in falls church...

Full meal idea –

When I made this dish, it sat happily beside an ear of corn, fried eggplant, and a baked potato. It was a great veggie-based meal with lots of color and simple, fresh flavor. As an added bonus, all of the items were local. Challenge yourself to create something local with every meal and soon enough you’ll be enjoying fully local meals.

For all my NoVa pals, here’s where I’ve been shopping lately for my local fare:

http://thelocalmarketva.com/

Let’s help this amazing establishment stay in business…it’s the same price [or cheaper!] than any grocery store. Check it out!

 

living on the edge : a raw milk melodrama

I guess you could say i live on the edge. I take vitamins with labels i sometimes can’t understand. I go to doctors that talk to my aura. I put raw egg yolks in my smoothies.

All of that pales when compared to my most daring pastime: drinking milk that has not been pasteurized.

ooooh yeaaaaah

For real though, I’m kidding. I play it pretty safe, so you know if I’m doing it, everyone can do it. Let’s talk about that raw stuff. Many of you might know about the raw dairy revolution that’s caught on throughout the nation – from states where glorious raw milk sells in stores to states where you have to buy your dairy from the neighboring state and pick it up from unmarked vans behind run-down steakhouses. there are people that are absolutely crazy about it, and there are folks that tout it’s unhealthy, dangerous potential [these folks, coincidentally, are the ones that make the rules, and therefore the consumption of raw milk is usually shunned].

all over Massachusetts, next to the "maple syrup for sale" signs.

Raw milk is where all of this began, for me. I visited my parents in North Carolina when i was in college and was surprised to find my refrigerator littered with different-sized jars of white liquid labeled “FOR PET CONSUMPTION ONLY.” My mother went on to explain that i was raw milk, and that it was perfectly safe for humans but only legal to sell if it was labeled as such. I had tried raw milk once before and was shocked by how real it tasted, how wonderfully smooth, crisp and rich it was, so hearing my mom explain the laws governing the sale of raw milk was incredibly fascinating. A year later I spent a short month in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, purchasing gallons of raw milk and fresh raw dairy from a shack down the road*. This milk was not labeled. Everyone knew it was safe and there was usually none leftover for the pets.

Since then I have moved to Northern Virginia, where the sale of raw milk is illegal. Purchased milk from other states is available, but there is a lot of legal jargon that makes it a little dangerous for farmers. They soldier on, though, and provide us with fresh, cold milk from grass-fed cows and goats. Unfortunately for the farmers and the consumers, though, the FDA [our big brother neighbor] is constantly spying on this process, planning midnight farm raids and actively cutting off family farm income sources.

Why does everyone care so much, you may ask? Raw milk is a polarizing topic for many reasons – but it really boils down to this: the product is safe and so incredibly beneficial, but broadcasting this information could cause financial harm the large milk-producing farms that congest the shelves of every grocery store. If you follow the money, the truth soon appears.

I think it’s important that everyone understand the true benefits of raw milk, and also be aware of why it is safe.

Understanding the Benefits of Raw Milk [in a nutshell] Continue reading

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sweet-tooth : a breakdown

sugar babies

I’ve got a wicked sweet-tooth. Many of my friends [especially my lady-friends] claim they suffer from the same post-meal craving. Lately I’ve been eating fruit to satiate the sweet urge, but healthy as that may seem I’m pretty sure I’m overdoing that, too. Limiting my intake of sugars [natural, refined, or completely human-generated] has not necessarily changed the way I feel about sweet foods – I just know the importance of maintaining my a] teeth, b] bod c] blood-sugar levels.

My interest in this phenomena spurred me to do a little research about sugar. After all, sugar is derived from a natural source, so how has it [like every other food] turned into the artificial [it’s in the name] junk in our drinks and low-cal foods? The research I did brought me to a very simple conclusion: sugar, like every other element of a natural-based diet, is important and productive when consumed with its natural counterparts. The sugar [or whatever you call it] we consume [all 170 lbs per person, per year] doesn’t do anything it’s supposed to because it lacks nutrients and assistance due to the way it is served.

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the legend of salt

Low sodium products have recently emerged in the grocery store as a way to achieve a healthy blood pressure and weight. These products, in combination with the amount of publicity low-sodium diets have received, have created a low sodium empire that affect the way we season our meals, cook and preserve food, and buy. Unfortunately, salt has been given an all-over bad rap based on the modern product, refined salt, that is so incredibly marketable, long-lasting and easy to produce.

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the making of margarine : a behind the scenes look at hydrogenation

Margarine has a lot of shelf-appeal. For one, it’s spreadable. Anyone who has attacked a stick of butter straight out of the fridge knows that the butter will put up a huge fight before spreading cleanly on the [now mutilated] toast. Margarine, right out of the fridge, spreads as if it had been sitting on the counter for hours. Secondly, margarine has been proclaimed “healthier for your heart” by medical experts and the American Heart Association, a big-hitter.

margarine: the pleasant end-product of a series of terribly unfortunate events

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the dangers of modern soy

The condemnation of soy products is a touchy subject due to the fact that many people, vegetarian or not, substitute essential dietary elements with soy under the belief that it is a healthier alternative. The heavy inclusion of soy in one’s diet can be attributed to the positive media attention it has received, resulting in soy’s popularity in healthy recipes and grocery stores. What is touted as a complete protein is actually the opposite, but the soybean industry-funded press promoting soy keeps it a growing force in the health food industry.

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cholesterol / eggs

Sept 10, 2010

an egg is a whole food. a few years ago, cholesterol was demonized by doctors and a whole slew of expert medical professionals. eggs contain cholesterol. therefore, many believe that eating high quantities of eggs will lead to heart disease caused by high cholesterol.

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