4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Eat

10/22/10 Eat To Your Heart’s Content

In this ongoing seasonal cooking class series, Wendy Van Wagner of In the Kitchen, and I will be partnering up again to offer another informative, fun, and delicious heart-healthy cooking class. This class, which will focus on Fall Foods, has filled up quickly! I am thrilled with the enthusiastic response to what has become a series–we’ll offer these heart-healthy cooking classes four times a year (at least!) to take advantage of the variety of delightful and delicious foods that are available on a seasonal basis. Stay tuned for the winter class to be offered in January, 2011!

Best Banana Muffins on the Planet…

This summer has brought a lot of kitchen time–fulfilling me with the joy of creativity and sensory stimulation from the smells, colors and textures of my creations. An addition to my business that I had not anticipated but am thoroughly enjoying is the opportunity of cooking for my clients. I have shared quinoa casseroles, grilled veggies, fruit cobblers, all sorts of greens in various combination and styles, soups, pastas and sauces…basically, the dinners I’ve been making each night have been doubled in size, with the leftovers being shared. I enjoy seeing my clients try new flavors, textures, and combinations of grains and greens to entice and familiarize them with eating REAL food. It’s working well!

One client, a very busy woman who commutes several days a week for work and whose work often comes home with her in the evening, has been challenged time management-wise to find kitchen time to create healthy, energy producing and sustaining meals for her long days away from home. We’ve shopped together so she became acquainted with pantry staples, created strategies for prep-ahead techniques, all with a focus on healthy, quick meals and snacks that could be eaten throughout the week.

Banana muffins, using this recipe, are a delicious, healthy mid-morning snack. With a smear of good quality peanut or almond butter, you’ve got protein, fat, and carbs that will last a few hours, giving you energy and stamina, as well as a smile on your face because they taste so heavenly. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
¾ C organic sweet-cream butter, softened
1 ½ C organic cane sugar
2 eggs, locally sourced
1 ½ C mashed very ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ C organic, whole-milk vanilla yogurt
½ C chopped nuts, optional

Directions:
1.    Cream butter and sugar until it’s as smooth as it looks like it’s going to get. It will still seem a bit lumpy. No worries.
2.    Mix in the eggs.
3.    Add vanilla and bananas.
4.    Sift together flour and baking soda into a separate bowl.
5.    Alternately add the dry sifted mixture with the yogurt into the butter/sugar mixture.
6.    Pour into 24 cupcake tins (with paper liners). Bake at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes, until they are a gorgeous golden color on top and a toothpick inserted into the center pulls back clean.
7.    Once cool, I freeze most of the muffins in a giant zip lock baggie so I can pull them out one or two at a time. They thaw in a half-hour or in the microwave for 30 seconds. Smear with peanut or almond butter, and you’ve got a fabulous tasting and very healthy snack filled with protein, good fat, and energy-producing carbs! Yum.

Sharing the Joy of Eating to Your Heart’s Content

“My husband, Gary,  and I made your heart healthy dinner tonight to rave reviews from our kids — ages 9 and 13.  Well not really rave, but they ate it!  The quinoa was fabulous, the roasted vegetables were very tasty and the salad with the ginger dressing was spectacular! The peach cobbler topped it off — coconut oil and all.  Thank you very much. I appreciate the recipes and your website.” –SBG, Grass Valley, CA.

I love that this young mom was able to come away with real food ideas to nurture her health and that of her family, and at the same time, to derive pleasure from the prep time with her husband. A collaborative effort between HeartMatters and In the Kitchen, the recent Eat to Your Heart’s Content cooking class was a colossal success–we’ll be repeating the class seasonally, with the focus being easy, delicious, fun, and nutritious meals and snack ideas. Yum!

It’s Coming Together…

I was pleasantly intrigued to receive an email from the manager of a restaurant, at which I eat fairly often and enjoy very much, to review the menu with him and the chef, to support their intention of serving healthful, delicious meals that cater to a variety of food preferences. This was on my mind as I tuned in to NPR this morning and caught a wonderful story about Meatless Monday. Check out that link! On my mind too, was the recent headline that 1 MILLION pounds of beef has been recalled for E. Coli contamination.

It’s no surprise that factory raised beef had to be recalled–again–or that millions of Americans are understanding the benefits of Meatless Monday from an environmental and health perspective, or that restaurants across the country are enhancing their entrees with fresh veggies, either grilled or quick sauteed, and groovy grain side dishes. A heightened awareness is burgeoning all around us. It’s coming together…

How is real food showing up in your life?

Fruit Cobbler

Not too sweet, not too tart…that’s how a fruit cobbler should be! This time of year is so rich in the bounty that is available at the natural foods cooperative market where I shop: fruit, fruit, and more fruit. I make smoothies. I chop up berries to mix with cereal. I keep a huge fruit salad cut up and in the fridge, ready to savor at any moment–alone, with yogurt, or even on top of vanilla ice cream. Grapes and cherries, papaya, mango, pineapple, apples, pears, peaches, plums, berries, bananas–you name it and I’ll include it in my fruit salad.

I am a real advocate of preparing foods ahead as much as possible to increase access to healthful small meals throughout the day. I have found a delicious twist to this that is a healthful treat, and especially useful if the fruit salad has been in the fridge a day too long! Healthful Treat. Now when’s the last time you saw those two words together?

Ingredients:

  • as above, any fruit you have lying around, chopped into bite size pieces
  • sugar, to taste
  • granulated tapioca
  • optional: a pinch of cinnamon and/or fresh ground nutmeg
  • flour
  • sugar
  • coconut oil (in its solid form, not liquid)

To prepare:

  1. The amount of sugar you mix into the fruit will depend on how much fruit salad you will be using, as well as your personal taste preference. I suggest: Go Tart!
  2. Mix in granulated tapioca. (try 3 T for every 4 cups of fruit)
  3. Consider cinnamon or nutmeg here, but just a small pinch.
  4. Put the fruity mix into a glass baking dish.
    *** Here’s where the fun begins: assembling the cobbler topping ***
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and coconut oil until you have a crumbly mess that is not too sweet but pleasing to the palate. (see note below)
  6. Pour the crumble over the fruit, spreading evenly to the edges of the dish.
  7. Bake uncovered, in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 45-ish minutes, keeping an eye on the topping. Once it starts to become golden brown, I turn the oven off, but let the dish sit happily inside for another 10 minutes or so.
  8. Let it cool, then enjoy this delicious and healthy treat.
  9. Top with yogurt or creme fraiche, and you’ve got a small meal of good quality fat, carbs, fiber, and amazing flavor.

NOTES:

  • I’m not a measuring spoon type of gal; I love the free flow of creativity in the kitchen. It works out most of the time, that I am rewarded with a delish dish or meal that may never taste the same way twice, but that elicits joy and satisfaction in the process.
  • My personal choice is organic food; from produce to flour, sugar, grains, spices, coconut oil, dairy, etc. See how that concepts fits into your own personal choices.
  • For this recipe, I use unprocessed cane sugar and light brown sugar. I suggest that you try to shift towards less sugar when baking–the tartness in fruit is quite exciting once your mouth has a chance to savor the flavors beyond sweet.
  • I love coconut oil. Yes, it is a saturated fat, but one that has the health benefits of plant foods, and woweezowee, once you get a taste of it in this topping, you’ll never go back!

Grilled Veggies Extraordinaire!

It is nearly unimaginable to me that I have gone through my entire adult life–until last week–before becoming familiar with this divine, easy, and healthy method of cooking up a bunch of vegetables all at once–and having them come out as a side dish to any meal that a 5-star chef would be proud of! Where have I been hiding? Well, it’s never too late and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I now do!

Ingredients:

  • any and all veggies that you round up: zucchini, peppers (red and yellow), cauliflower, mushrooms, eggplant, broccoli, purple onion, green beans — don’t hold back!
  • olive oil
  • good quality balsamic vinaigrette (I use fig vinaigrette–it’s sweet flavor adds a surprise zip to the marinade)
  • a small pinch of salt and a hearty pinch of black pepper

To prepare:
1.  cut veggies into bite size pieces, and place into large bowl
2. add enough olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette to please your palate, and to coat the veggies uniformly
3. add the salt and pepper; mix it all up well
4. place the veggies into one of those grill pans intended for small pieces of food (see photo)
5. cook for 15 minutes on medium flame on the BBQ, stirring every 5 minutes
6. Enjoy the most delish, crunchy, healthy, aromatic, and simply marvelous veggies you have ever eaten!

8/13/10 Eat To Your Heart’s Content!

I am joining forces with Wendy Van Wagner of In The Kitchen for this informative, fun, and delicious heart-healthy cooking class. We are looking forward to seeing you there. Space is limited so register soon at 478-0669!

"There aren't many people with your combination of medical expertise and caring for the whole person. Your incremental approach to helping me develop better health habits really works. I never feel judged and always feel encouraged and cared about. Thank you!"
---S.R., Nevada County

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