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An Inspired Breakfast by Haagen-Daz

4 Apr

I have been totally inspired by this exquisite bowl of ice cream. 

  Mid-Western Boy keeps bringing me a pint of this Haagen Daz ice cream. It is white chocolate raspberry truffle.  There is something so delicious about the sweetness of the raspberrys against the richness of the truffles with a sweet taste of the white chocolate ice cream.  I’m addicted to it and I”ve been eating it almost every night after dinner. 

I didn’t think much about this new indulgence until Sunday evening as I watched one of my favorite television programs, Mad Men.  Betty Draper (Francis) has been depressed and it appears that she has gained a significant amount of weight.  One of the last scenese of the show is of Betty eating ice cream with her daughter after dinner.  Her daughter didn’t finish her bowl of ice cream and so Betty pulled it to her and finished it as well as her own.  At that moment, I stopped breathing – hadn’t I just done the same thing with my son’s bowl of my new indulgence?    I knew I had to stop eating the ice cream every night but I can’t stop thinking of about the raspberry and chocolate combination. 

And so, this morning, I figured out how to satisfy the craving with a much healthier version for BREAKFAST!  On the weekend, I usually prepare some steel cut oatmeal and leave in our refrigerator and then warm it up during the week to vary our breakfast.  I usually simply toss in some almond milk, chopped almonds and some honey or cocunut to sweeten it for us.  Other times I toss in blueberries and brown sugar.   This morning – – I created my newest addiction — I warmed up the steel cut oatmeal with some almond milk, mixed in a a teaspoon of local raw honey and tossed in some frozen raspberries and dark chocolate chips and ……I’m back in heaven – with a lot less calories and guilt and my four year old can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow!

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A Quick Basic Meal For A Hurried Lifetstyle

31 Mar

I’ve been cooking this healthy basic meal almost every week for months now and I thought it might be something nice to share.  The reason I love cooking it – is that it is healthy, quick and has so many variations – even with the use of the same veggies over and over again – there is a sense of variety so I always have something to look forward to.

1.  I always begin with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a hot pan.

2.  I then add a few cloves of garlic pressed through and saute for about 2-3 minutes.

3.  I almost always add Mushrooms (all different varieties).  I find mushrooms are really filling. 

4.  Next, I check my refrigerator and I look for any colorful veggies that I have on hand.  Most of the time I have carrots and celery.  I quickly and coarsely chop them in the food processer and drop them in the saute pan and continue to saute. 

5.  I then check my refrigerator and freezer to add some more color to my basic veggie dish.  I almost always have frozen organic veggies.  I love to add broccoli and peas.

6.  Finally, I love tomatoes and I find that they thicken up the  sauteed veggies as well.  So, I usually add grape tomatoes (halved).

7.  Finally I throw in cut up Kale and lower the heat and put on the pan cover so they steam down. 

While sauteeing the veggies, I usually sprinkle the veggies with california sea salt and black pepper.

While I’m preparing the veggies, I usually have a pot of boiling water on the side to add some type of carb.  The carbs have been varying as follows: whole wheat pasta, buckwheat soba noodles, short grain brown rice (my new favorite), and quinoa pasta.

When the carbohydrate or base is complete, I usually drain it and toss into the saute pan so that the juices of the sauce can cover the pasta, rice, noodles, etc.

VARIATIONS

I sometimes like to make different sauces in the sautee pan so it gives me a variety of flavors and tastes and I can keep repeating the dish but feel like I’m eating something different every night.

1. If I”m only feeling like I want something light, I usually just add lemon zest, pine nuts and feta cheese to the sautee pan at the end of the cooking process.

2.  If I’m feeling like Asian food, I add Tamari Sauce and Gomasio while satueeing the veggies.  At the end of the process, I add chopped avocado.  I LOVE this combination with short grain brown rice.  It also goes well with soba noodles.

3.  If I’m feeling like I want a mexican flavor, I toast whole wheat tortillas and mix in some mild salsa at the end of the veggie sautee and fold brown rice and the veggies into a burrito.

The variations are endless! This healthy meal can be made in less than 30 minutes and will work well for busy, hurried lifestyles.  It also stays well for leftovers later in the week. (I usually bring it as my lunch and send it to lunch in thermos with my son for school)!

Buon Appetito!

– City Mama

A Cook’s Kitchen Nightmare

24 Feb
 
The National Organic Program administers the O...
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English: A bundle of kale from an organic food...
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   On Wednesday morning I woke up to some very upsetting news. When I opened my refrigerator door to drink some cold refreshing water, it was at room temperature.  I wondered did I leave the door of the refrigerator open last night?  Everything in my refrigerator felt like it was room temperature.  I checked the controls and I went to work.  When I returned, the refrigerator smelled and everything inside was spoiled.

Yes, this is a kitchen nightmare for me.  I had so many organic vegetables (Kale, swiss chard, fresh spinach, ginger, celery, carrots, avocado) for my morning green smoothies that were totally spoiled.  All of the weekend’s work of preparing meals for the work week for my son and I for our lunches and dinners was lost overnight ! It was so disappointing not to be able to enjoy the turkey meatloaf stuffed with organic fresh spinach leaves, sage and thyme, my adult’s version of  homemade mac & cheese made of whole wheat penne pasta covered with melted fontina, creamy gorgonzola, rich ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella and a cream tomato sauce and finally the bowl of homemade tomato sauce and fresh raviolis.   It was sad for me to toss into the garbage all of my spoiled vegetables in the green grocer’s bags that help keep them fresh for me. I poured down the drain organic milk, organic yogurts, and tossed into the garbage pastured organic butter and organic raw cheeses. 

Photo of a typical refrigerator with its door ...

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The only positive thing was that my freezer was still very cold and I was able to store my frozen foods in the freezer of my apartment building’s community room – thankfully!  In my freezer, I have tons of organic frozen vegetables, organic chicken, frozen soups that I prepared in the past, organic unsalted butters for baking and organic, humanely raised grass fed beef!

All of this mourning over lost food in my refrigerator and pouring of money (literally) down the drain had me thinking of all of the money I spend on my organic produce and foods.  It was an expensive loss (not to mention the urgent need to locate a new refrigerator that fits in this custom built kitchen) but I know that I am lucky to have the knowledge about food and the ability to afford to purchase my organic groceries. 

I wasn’t always an organic zealot.  It began when I was pregnant with my son in 2006.  I started with little things – like organic milk and organic chicken.  I didn’t want to eat food that was injected with antibiotics and other hormones while I was having a child develop and grow inside of my body – New York City if filled with enough toxins and my domestic life was toxic enough.  That was the extent of my organic food purchases – it was expensive and I was going through a divorce.  However, a few years later I started to read about our food supply and how the FDA has allowed it to be modified over the years, improved by science, some may say.  I’ve read books like Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, the 3-Day Cleanse by Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss, Kris Carr‘s Crazy Sexy Diet and Integrative Nutrition by Joshua Rosenthal.  I watched movies like Food Inc.  I learned about genetically modified crops, genetically  injected animals and the need to eat locally and seasonally.  Doing all of these things, I’ve learned, benefit not just our bodies but also for our land, our animals and our environment. 

I’m hoping to read the New York Time’s reviewed book, The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan soon (see review: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/books/tracie-mcmillan-writes-the-american-way-of-eating.html?_r=1&ref=books).  Her view is different from the others – it discusses the workers at the bottom of the food industry and how they are impacted and what needs to change in our food industry so Americans can start eating better again.

I urge you to sign petitions like ones flying around Facebook: http://signon.org/sign/tell-the-fda-that-we.fb1?source=s.fb&r_by=2537995 and tell our government that our food, at the very least should be labeled.   Americans should be aware that their food is not natural, straight from the source, that science has attempted to modify it to make it cheaper to grow.  Safe, organic food should not be for Americans that could afford to pay for it – safe natural, organic food should be available to all Americans despite socio-economic status. 

 

Valentine’s Day Cookies

19 Feb

I didn’t get to post earlier in the week about my Valentine’s Day celebration with my little guy.  I was never really into celebrating Valentine’s Day until my little man asked that we be festive.  A few weeks before he asked me to bake heart shaped cookies for his friends.  And so, the preparation for Valentine’s Day began – we made little Valentine’s for his friends and on the weekend before Valentine’s Day we baked shortbread heart shaped cookies.  My little man baked his own cookies and has his own baking tools.  I find baking and cooking with children really encourages them to be involved in what they are eating and learning about coooking! 

 It is a lot of work to have the children in the kitchen but I think the benefits are enormous.

Buckwheat What?

19 Feb
English: vegetables

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I find that if I don’t eat well it impacts my mood.  Over the last few weeks I have been feeling depleted and I’ve been trying to correct that watching what I eat but it has been so hard!   We have been so busy with birthday parties and play dates and Superbowl munchies and Valentine’s Day chocolates and cookies that I haven’t really been eating what I love – fresh vegetables!

I finally had a free Saturday afternoon – DB came to take Kyle at 4pm and so  a few minutes after my little man departed with his inconsistent dad – I put on my running shoes and grabbed my GPS and decided to hit the road for an 8 mile run.  I ran along the east river and I had a smile across my face the entire 1 hour + of the run.  It was awesome.  This mild winter has been great for getting out there and hitting the road – when I can .  I finally  replaced all of the endorphins that have been missing over the last few weeks as I realized that I need to run.  I need it more than almost anything else – even more than sex.  It empowers me and makes me feel great inside and outside.

Now, what to eat? Of course my boyfriend, Mid-Western Boy, wants to get pizza.  I LOVE pizza but I just did an 8 mile run! I’m not going to erase the benefits of that run with a few precious moments of melted mozzarella, tasty tomato sauce and perfectly baked crust.  I told Mid-Western Boy that I was going to make Buckwheat Soba noodles with sautéed vegetables.  He, of course, opted for 2 slices of pepperoni pizza.

As he was eating the delicious smelling pizza, I focused on sauteing my vegetables. 

I began with a little bit of olive oil and some garlic in my saute pan on low heat.  I then added some chopped organic baby carrots and shallots that I chopped in my mini food processor.  I added them to the pan and some tamari sauce with seafood gomasio (which is made up of sesame seeds, seaweed and sea salt).  I then sliced up some organic crimini mushrooms and added them to the pan with some more tamari and seafood gomasio.  Finally once all of the vegetables in the pan appeared to be almost done I added fresh kale and spinach leaves to the pan and put the cover on to steam them down.  While I was steaming the vegetables down, I added my buckwheat noodles to a pot of boiling water.   After three minutes I drained the buckwheat noodles and added them to my sautéed vegetables with a bit more tamari and the seafood gomasio.  Finally, I shut off the low heat and added some avocado and pine nuts.  I mixed it altogether and had a healthy, filling dish of Buckwheat noodles and fresh sautéed vegetables.

I sat in front of the television to catch up on watching episodes of Homeland with my Mid-Western Boy and as he was sniffing the lovely flavors from my Soba noodle special, he asked to try it – and guess what – he loved it and said that it was better than Pepperoni Pizza and he should have waited the 15 minutes it took to put the dish together.  This was truly a compliment from my high fructose corn syrup, McDonald eating, dorito munching boyfriend who had initially chosen pizza over buckwheat noodles!

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