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Category: healthy eats

  1. Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Meatless Eats

    I don’t normally just send you off to another website, but today I’m going to because it’s a good one!  Click here for meatless meal ideas from Everyday Food. (Photos from Martha Stewart.)

    I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t plan on becoming one.  But I have thought a lot about eating less meat lately…both for economic and environmental purposes.  Seriously, if we all ate less meat the impact on the enviornment would be huge.  But I won’t get into that.  Needless to say, I’m excited to incorporate more meatless recipes into my dinner repertoire.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

  2. Friday, April 10, 2009

    Oroblanco Grapefruit

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sweet grapefruit junky. Nate went to the farmer’s market last weekend and discovered my new favorite grapefruit variety: Oroblanco. It’s actually a cross between a grapefruit and a pommelo…and what a DELICIOUS cross it is.  Sweet, not as acidic, milder in flavor.

    It’s also huge. I photographed the oroblanco (yellow) next to a normal sized grapefruit, a navel orange and a ‘cutie’ just to give some perspective on the ‘giantness’ of this grapefruit. The rind was really thick, so the actual fruit yield was about the same as any other grapefruit.

    Anna just couldn’t resist being a part of the big photo shoot.

  3. Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Costco’s Orange Chicken, Short Grain Brown Rice & Leftover Asparagus

    Today’s post is a doozie.  Get ready.  So many good things to share from one simple dinner!

    #1: Mandarain Orange Chicken in the Costco freezer section is back!
    About a year ago, I wrote about how I love the Mandarain Orange Chicken from Costco’s freezer section…even more than Trader Joe’s (sorry, Joe!). Then I kept getting comments on the post asking if I knew the brand, people couldn’t find it and, horror of horrors, a Costco rep said they had removed it from inventory.  It was a sad time.

    I went to Costco last week…look what I found tucked in the freezer?  Yippee!

    The brand is Crazy Cuisine, in case they discontinue it again and people need to track it down.  It was as yummy as ever.

    #2: Short Grain Brown Rice
    Last week I asked for tips on how to make brown rice like PF Changs. Quick update: I found short grain brown rice in the bulk section at our grocery store.  It wasn’t exactly like PF Chang’s, but it was what I was looking for (I’m pretty sure PF Chang’s is, in fact, using short grain brown rice, just a different variety).  The short grain brown is stickier, making it perfect for Chinese food.  It is definitely good enough to be the healthy replacement for my all-time favorite Calrose rice.

    #3: Simple Side Dish – Leftover Asparagus
    When I went to Berkeley Bowl, I bought a few million pencil asparagus (I love skinny asparagus!).  Of course we couldn’t eat it all at one sitting. While I love freshly cooked asparagus, leftover cooked asparagus?  Not so much.  But I have discovered a good use for this soggy leftover!

    I chopped the asparagus into smaller pieces, sauteed over medium heat with soy sauce, a dash of sesame oil, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, and a spoonful of sugar (you know, to help with the medicine).  It was DEEEE-LISH and the perfect side dish for Chinese food.  Very simple and easy.

  4. Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Guest Blogger Marie LeBaron: Edamame!

    I am happy to introduce Marie from Make and Takes as today’s guest blogger!  Marie is one of the bloggers I had the pleasure of meeting in person recently and she is as sweet as she is impressive.  I love having her for a guest post since she is so talented at creating kid-friendly activities and snacks…which brings us to her post.  Thanks, for visiting, Marie!

    I’m happy to be a guest today as This Week For Dinner is one of my favorite food blogs! I love Jane’s Weekly Menu, it’s always giving me good ideas for what to eat.

    Today I’m sharing one of my family’s favorite healthy snacks, Edamame! Have you tried it before? Edamame are soybeans in pods. You don’t eat the pod, just the yummy soybeans inside. My kids and I can gobble a whole bag of Edamame in minutes. They’re a simple snack, fun to eat, and good for you too.

    You can buy Edamame all ready to go in the freezer section of your grocery store, they even sell big bags of them at Costco.

    Place some in a bowl and follow the directions for cooking/steaming on the bag. I also like to add salt to mine, making for an even tastier treat.

    Now pop the pod in your mouth and squeeze out the soybean. The salt on top of the pod will give your soybean more flavor. Then discard the pod into a bowl. I dare you to eat just one of these, I promise you won’t be able to stop!

  5. Thursday, February 19, 2009

    Kitchen Tips: Ripening Avocados

    We’re having tacos tonight, complete with delicious guacamole.  But my avocados aren’t quite ready.  Close, but not quite.  Which brings us to today’s Kitchen Tip! How to speed up (and stop) the avocado ripening process!

    First, tips for SPEEDING UP ripening:

    • Put your avocados in a brown paper bag.  The gases that ripen the avocado get stuck in the bag and help speed things up.  I clip the bag closed with a Chip Clip to “seal” it.
    • Store your avocados near bananas.  Bananas also let off those same gases that ripen the avocado, so they can help things along.
    • Today’s technique? Put the avocados in a brown paper bag WITH bananas.  I’m getting desperate.  I sure hope it works!  I’ll let you know tonight…

    What if your avocados are perfectly ripe but you don’t need them for a few more days? Here’s how to STOP ripening.

    • Place avocados in the fridge.  That’s it.  Easy Peasy.
    • In case you are wondering, putting avocados in the fridge does not hurt or change them (unlike tomatoes, which should NEVER go in the fridge).

  6. Friday, January 16, 2009


    The cherries were begging to be photographed yesterday.  I gladly obliged.

  7. Wednesday, January 7, 2009

    Frozen Yogurt Redefined…and in my own kitchen!

    Have you had the latest in frozen yogurt?  I must admit, I’m a bit obsessed.  It’s healthier, with live cultures still intact.  The taste is tart, not as sweet, and just plain delicious.  I first had the opportunity to indulge at Fraiche, a yogurt cafe in Palo Alto, CA.  Red Mango, a Korean-based chain currently in 10 states, is right down the road and just as delish.  (There is an ongoing, very heated & emotional debate among my friends over which is better…it may come to blows.)

    As I mentioned, I’m obsessed.  For Christmas I got an ice cream maker, which I am LOVING by the way.  Anyway, I think I have it down!  I’ll probably make frozen yogurt so much now that I’ll get sick of it…but I honestly can’t imagine that happening.

    Here are my recipes!  I have one more experiment to run, but I feel comfortable sharing this as is.  It’s awesome. (Quick note: I used lowfat yogurt and whole milk in these recipes, unless otherwise indicated.)

    If you like FRAICHE:
    – 2 C plain yogurt
    – 1/4 C sugar
    – 1/2 C milk
    – Mix ingredients together, follow directions for your ice cream maker (Cuisinart – 25 minutes)

    If you like RED MANGO: (um, I must admit, this is my preference)
    – 2 C plain yogurt (greek style yielded the best results)
    – 1/2 C sugar (a little less than 1/2 cup, actually)
    – 1/2 C milk
    – between 1/8 – 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
    – Mix ingredients together, follow directions for your ice cream maker (Cuisinart – 25 minutes)

    For both recipes, eat as is or top with your favorite fruit…or mini chocolate chips if you feel so inclined!

    (PS – In my quest to recreate Red Mango, I discovered xanthan gum, which works as an emulsifier. It keeps ice crystals from forming, so you get a creamier texture. Xanthan gum is what made the difference between similarities to Fraiche versus Red Mango. You can find it at Whole Foods and other such stores.  It is also used frequently in gluten-free cooking, if you were wondering.)

  8. Friday, January 2, 2009

    One-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple cauliflower eater

    I’ve been intrigued by purple and orange cauliflower for some time.  I finally bought purple the other night.  It’s so pretty – I love how it looks!  Cauliflower is my most favorite vegetable, so I was excited to try this new-to-me variety.

    Well, it’s good.  But I like white better.  White has more of a “buttery” flavor to me.  The purple was still good and definitely an eye-catcher, so I will get it again, perhaps when we’re having company for dinner.  Orange is next on my to-try list!

    PS: Cauliflower is very good for you.  As nutritious as broccoli.  Click here to read more about it.

    Eat your veggies!

  9. Thursday, October 16, 2008

    Happy Eats Club!

    Remember my experiment? And remember how I said I was going to eat healthier going forward? Today I’m going to tell you exactly how I’m doing that!

    A group of friends and I have formed a Happy Eats Club. It’s AWESOME. And here’s how it works:
    – Each member (there are 5 of us) makes one goal and then sets up a list of healthy eating rules that support their goal.
    – Each week we check in with each other. If you cheated on your rules, you owe $5 to the pot. (Everyone gets to cheat on Halloween and Thanksgiving, by the way 🙂 )
    – On December 20, we will have a final check-in. Whoever cheated least gets the money pot. Whoever cheated most has to do something embarrassing that the group determines. Scary. If, by some miracle, none of us cheat…then we’re going to do something fun to celebrate!

    My goal is simple: Eat healthier. I’m not trying to lose weight, I just want to eat better.

    Here are my rules:
    – 2+ servings of fruit each day
    – 3+ servings of vegetables each day
    – 6+ glasses of water each day
    – 1 or less servings of white flour per day
    – 1 or less dessert/treat per day
    – As many whole grains as possible

    Other members of the group have different goals and rules. Some want to lose weight. Some just want to eat healthier. Examples of rules: no sugar, no white flour, no fried foods, fruit juice must be fresh, etc.

    We are 1 week into the Club and so far so good! I am eating WAY less sugar, WAY more veggies, drinking WAY more water. It’s fantastic. I’m already feeling better.

    As the Happy Eats Club continues on this venture, we will share experiences, recipes, etc.  If you do something similar, let us know about it!

    And, yes, I’ll fess up to ALL of you if I cheat!

  10. Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Featured Recipe: Whole Wheat Pancakes

    I’m trying to cut white flour as much as possible (more on that tomorrow!). Normally when I make wheat pancakes, I do half white flour, half wheat flour. This time I took the dive and went ALL wheat flour. I looked through my recipes, found one I thought might work…and it worked GREAT!

    I thought using all whole wheat flour would make the pancakes heavy, but with this recipe they were fluffy…and delicious! Without further ado, the recipe!

    Featured Recipe: Whole Wheat Pancakes
    Adapted from “The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook” (a MUST-HAVE for your kitchen library, by the way!)
    Recipe type: Breakfast
    • 2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar (I think honey would be a great alternative”¦I’m going to try that next time)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 large egg
    • 3 tablespoons butter melted
    • 2 cups buttermilk (or 2 C regular milk with 1 T lemon juice added, let sit for a few minutes)
    1. Whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and butter, then buttermilk. Make a well in dry ingredients, add wet into well, whisk very gently until incorporated (a few lumps should remain). Don’t overmix.
    2. Cook pancakes over medium heat. Flip when bubbles start to appear. My batter was VERY thick, so I had to sort of “spread” the pancake a bit when I put the batter in the pan”¦and the little bubbles never popped by the time it was time to flip the pancakes, but I could see them forming when it was time to flip. (I wouldn’t thin out the batter with milk because I don’t think they’ll come out as fluffy.)