Recipe: Massaged Kale Salad with Apples and Carrots

Kale can be a scary vegetable for a lot of people. It’s quite tough and bitter, which aren’t exactly crowd-pleasing traits. However, as massaged kale salads have become trendy in the past couple years, many have realized that this little step of rubbing the kale down can make a big difference in both the texture and flavor departments. Now, kale is never going to be like a spring green, because it isn’t! Rather, it’s hearty and much more substantial, which is exactly what we need this time of year. As a bonus, this salad holds up well in the fridge, unlike more delicate greens. At our house, we’ve been doing a lot of kale salads, so I thought I would share a recent creation with you. Strangely enough, Lisa Leake over at 100 Days of Real Food recently put up a similar recipe , so, if you want a slight variation on the same idea, be sure to check out her recipe for Kale and Apple Salad as well.

Kale Salad Continue reading

9 Tips For A Healthy Holiday

It’s the time of year that everyone loves: the holidays! But with all of the fun also comes lots of yummy food that isn’t always the healthiest. It’s important to enjoy this time of year, but also to avoid the consequences of enjoying ourselves a little too much.  Fear not, I’m here to help with a few tips. You can use all of them or pick and choose the ones that work for you. I don’t think we need to be too crazy about being restrictive on these special days. As long as we treat them like the special occassion they are and eat well most other days, it’s fine. At the same time, I don’t want you to have that sick, overstuffed feeling that no one likes.

Healthy Holiday

Note: Even though I’m posting this with the fall and winter holidays in mind, these tips can apply to any holiday or special event. Continue reading

Egg Comparison: Duck VS Chicken

Eggs are a hot commodity at my farmers market, especially now that the weather is getting cooler and the hens are slowing down in their egg production. I got there a little too late last week and there were no chicken eggs to be found. I was a little disappointed, but I also understand that we gotta work with what the chickies can do. However, just when I had accepted the fact that I wouldn’t be able to get any eggs this week, my egg lady mentioned that she had a few duck eggs, if I was interested. I definitely was, so I bought those bad boys right away!

1-duckeggs Continue reading

How To Build a Vegetarian Meal

While I myself am not vegetarian, I am picky about where my meat comes from and I eat vegetarian meals more often than not. With this said, as I see more people switch over to a meat-free lifestyle (whatever their reasons may be), many do not know how to build a meal on this new eating plan. Most often, I see people continue to plan meals that are centered around meat, even though that is exactly what they are giving up. For example, they may eat frozen “chicken” nuggets that are made from plant-based proteins or subsist solely on frozen veggie burgers. These foods are highly processed, often unappetizing, and expensive. I saw this very sort of thing promoted on a recent show on the Cooking Channel. The episode was all about cooking using the Morning Star veggie burgers and the hosts kept talking about getting healthy with a vegetarian diet. I think they were doing exactly the opposite. The key to being meat-free is to think of food in a new way, and get the focus off of meat.

The first step is to think of all the foods you are eating, rather than the few that you aren’t. Vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy products, and eggs are all fair game for vegetarians and can be combined in many different ways to create a delicious meal. Make spiced black beans served over brown rice with grilled veggies and a fruit salsa on the side. Another option is to roast your favorite vegetables in the oven and make them the star. Then  serve with quinoa or over whole wheat pasta with a tomato sauce. Think outside of your normal confines and get a little creative. A good place to start is with a vegetarian cookbook. Make sure it’s one based on whole real foods and not the franken-foods I mentioned above. Deborah Madison is a great cookbook author as well as Heidi Swanson. Start with their titles, and use them as a jumping off point for your own creativity.

Whether you are vegetarian or not, meatless meals can be a delicious and filling option. Learning to cook this way may take a little practice, but, once you drop the fake meat and embrace the yummy plant foods at your finger tips, you’ll see that vegetarian does not have to mean cardboard.

How do you feel about vegetarian cuisine? Like it or hate it, I’m all ears!

Do you have a favorite vegetarian cookbook author?

Let me know in the comments below! : )

Nutella Lawsuit: What It Really Means

It seems like there has been a lot of food in the headlines here recently.  From mad cow disease in California to pizzas with a cheeseburger crust, the food industry has been showing itself (in more ways than one). One story that struck a nerve with me was this one from the Huffington Post about a $3 million class-action lawsuit settled against Ferrero, the maker of Nutella. The reason? A California mother claims that she was deceived by advertisements for the product, as well as the language on the label, to believe that Nutella was a healthy option to feed her child. To rectify this issue, Ferrero is paying out to consumers and will also have to change advertisements and other media messages (website, packaging, etc.) so they are no longer deceptive in this way.

While some may be shouting for joy for a victory over the industry, I think a more important issue is at hand. Continue reading