Archive for June, 2010
Beets are a pretty cool vegetable, did you know that you can eat the greens that are growing on top? In fact they are related to spinach and are just as healthy! So for economizing you can’t do much better than a fresh beet – you get two fantastic vegetables for the price of one, and they’re in season right now. For the best beets with the freshest greens, ask your grocery store if they are carrying any from a local farm (the Whole Foods on Cedar/Warrensville does, and they’re huge and delicious).
Here’s a recipe I found recently, for a Beet and Orange Salad, which provides an excellent way to make the beets and beet greens together. It’s simple and tasty, and while it takes a bit of time to cook the beets, it’s not time you need to spend in the kitchen – just pop the beets in the oven and forget about them for 90 minutes, then do the rest of the recipe, which only take 10 minutes or so. If you want to kick this up even more, try crumbling a little blue cheese or goat cheese on top. You’ll find the same kind of salad at fancy restaurants for $10 or $12 a piece – and you can do the same at home for your whole family for way less! Enjoy!
I made this at my workshop last week at the Cleveland Foodbank, and it went over great. This is a nice, refreshing salad that can feed a crowd. It’s also great for packing in lunches – quinoa is high in protein so it’s a satisfying dish all on its own.
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine or balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups sweet corn (1-3 cobbs of corn)
1 or 2 finely chopped bell peppers
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper or crushed red pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
Rinse quinoa until water runs clear and drain in a large fine sieve. In a saucepan of 2 1/2 cups of boiling water cook quinoa 15 minutes. Strain quinoa in sieve and put into a large bowl. While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper, and coriander and toss well.
In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, and cumin and add oil, whisk together. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
Sometimes I just wake up in the morning wanting a muffin. And why not? They only take 20 minutes to prep from scratch, and I’ve come up with a few tasty recipes that use 100% whole grains, healthy fats, and other goodies like blueberries, which are high in cancer-fighting antioxidants. In this recipe I use spelt flour, which I really love. It’s sweeter than whole wheat and has a less gritty texture. I’ve found it at Dave’s and Wholefoods, but if needed you can always order some. One of the best things about spelt is that it’s easy on the stomach – many people who are sensitive to wheat do just find with spelt. It does contain gluten, though, so if you’re gluten intolerant unfortunately it’s not for you. These are best served warm.
1 3/4 cups whole grain spelt flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/8 t nutmeg
1/4 c olive oil
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup milk, rice milk, or soy milk
zest of 1 lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 T honey
Combine dry ingredients and whisk together. Whisk together wet ingredients seperately, then add to dry until just combined (lumps in the batter are ok). Fold in blueberries. Grease muffin tin or use muffin liners, and fill to almost-full with batter (should make 12 muffins). Bake 375 for 20-22 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Top with glaze and serve warm.
Seasonal produce is one of the greatest gifts nature provides us. Yet with our global economy that allows us to import fruits and vegetables from around the world and different climates, most of us have lost touch with what eating seasonally even means. I’m not exempt from this – just a couple of years ago, before I really got into holistic health and nutrition, I had no idea what fruits and vegetables were popping out of the ground when. And the prospect of learning seemed a bit overwhelming. But since then I’ve started paying more attention, started my own home garden, joined a CSA, and learned about the many health and environmental benefits of eating with the seasons. And I can say I do feel more in balance as a result. Now when I have cravings for citrus in January and strawberries in June, I feel good about it, because my body seems in touch with what it needs. (And, I don’t feel bad about wanting nothing to do with salad throughout the winter!).
Tomorrow I’ll be speaking at the Cleveland Foodbank about the importance of eating seasonal produce. The Cleveland Foodbank is lucky to receive tremendous amounts of Ohio produce that it then disperses to areas that are in-need. If you’re a member of an agency that works with the Cleveland Foodbank, this workshop is open to you! I’ll talk about what it means to eat seasonally, discuss some of the many health and environmental benefits of eating this way, and provide some recipes along with a cooking demo and tasting. Hope to see you there!