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Category: healthy eats

  1. Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    Ah, the Carrot Stick

    How could I forget? Why do I always fall into the same old pattern? Sure, those baby carrots are convenient. No peeling, no washing, no cutting. But don’t get sucked in, Jane! They don’t taste good!

    These freshly cut carrot sticks were so delicious today. I think I need to make a vow to never buy baby carrots again.

  2. Thursday, October 2, 2008

    Featured Recipe: Curried Squash & Chicken Soup

    I’ve been a real slacker cook lately.  I mean, it WAS my birthday after all. But I’m back in the kitchen and, as per Nate’s request, I’ve been trying new recipes more often lately.  The latest experiment – Curried Squash and Chicken Soup, a recipe from my good friend Natalee.

    It was quite yummy and healthy to boot.  And SO EASY.  The only trick is finding the curry paste, which is usually at Asian markets.  But seriously, even on a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, this soup added no extra stress whatsoever.

    A few quick notes. Nate commented it would be good on rice if it was a little thicker.  I may try that – I’ll either cut the water or add a little cornstarch at the end.

    And, believe it or not, I have lemongrass growing in my flower garden!  So, I threw a few whole blades of grass into the crockpot and pulled them before serving.  It gave the soup such a great, fresh flavor!

    Without further ado, the recipe!

    Featured Recipe: Curried Squash & Chicken Soup
    From Eating Well via my friend Natalee Maynes
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Poultry
    Serves: 2-3
    • 1 10-ounce package frozen pureed winter squash
    • ½ cup coconut milk
    • ½ cup water
    • 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced (can be added to soup raw) (Jane note: I just threw big hunks of raw chicken in that I cut with kitchen scissors, then broke it up with a fork at the end)
    • 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach (Jane note – I would chop up the spinach a bit before throwing it in for better texture in the soup)
    • 2 kaffir lime leaves (or 2 T lime juice)
    • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
    • ½-1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    1. Natalee’s favorite way to do this is in the crockpot because it allows all of the yummy Thai flavors to come out. Just throw it all in and cook on high for two or three hours–yummy! A great addition to this (but tricky to find anywhere except an Asian market) is LEMONGRASS!!! It is divine and makes it even that much better.


  3. Monday, September 29, 2008

    Week 88 Menu

    We were invited to dinner this evening at someone’s home and had an amazing meal. This couple is way into food and cooking. They served a delicious vegetable soup, olive polenta with mushrooms, GOAT (yes, you heard me, goat) with veggies we’ve never eaten before, and a very fancy french dessert. Seriously, this meal was amazing. They plated all of the food, so it was beautiful, and it was fun to try completely new foods. I can promise you tonight’s menu will never show up on my weekly plan, but we so appreciated it. Thanks, Sheryl & Jason!

    Sadly I did not have my camera with me. So, close your eyes and just imagine what dinner would have been like. Isn’t it lovely?

    Sheryl & Jason participate in a fruit/veggie CSA (community-supported agriculture) and a meat CSA. Their way of cooking is pretty much opposite of mine – they don’t know what food they’re going to get each week and then they just figure out what to cook as they go along. It’s quite impressive and definitely a fresh, healthy way to eat.

    I am WORDY tonight. Sorry! One last thing…I didn’t cook dinner ONCE last week. It was a FANTASTIC birthday week. 🙂 So, lots of carry-overs…but this week I’m back in the game.

    – Stir fry
    – Rice
    – Pick up a few sides from our local Chinese restaurant

    – Natalee’s Butternut Squash Soup…gotta try this recipe out! (It’s posted in the comments here, if you’re interested)

    – Fajitas

    – Leftovers

    – Pizza

    – Eat out

    Spinach & Pancetta Stuffed Shells w/Asiago Cream Sauce
    – Garlic Bread
    – Salad

    Can’t wait to see what you’re eating for dinner this week! As always, thank you for sharing your menus!

  4. Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Week 86 Menu

    Is it really time to plan another menu? These weeks go by far too quickly.

    It finally feels like autumn! I LOVE FALL. It’s my favorite season hands down. I love everything about it. The weather, warmer clothes, the leaves, the colors and the food. Butternut Squash Soup, here I come!

    Butternut Squash Soup
    – Whole wheat french bread

    – Bolognese (recipe to come!) over whole wheat pasta
    – Spinach salad with strawberries & green onion

    – Roast Chicken (from Costco)
    – Spaghetti Squash
    – Potatoes of some sort

    – Leftovers

    – Chicken Stir Fry
    – Rice
    – Pick up a few sides from our local Chinese restaurant

    – Eat out

    Spinach & Pancetta Stuffed Shells w/Asiago Cream Sauce
    – Garlic Bread
    – Salad

    PS: I’m back to ‘normal’ eating. But here’s the healthy eating plan going forward: less sugar (way less), little white flour and MORE VEGGIES. That’s the biggest goal…incorporating more vegetables into every meal. I’m sure I’ll be posting more on that!

    Okay, it’s the end of this post…you know what that means…time to share your menu for the week!

  5. Friday, September 12, 2008

    No Sugar, No Flour, No Dairy…OH MY!

    Time to check in on the experiment. I’ve been good, friends. Seriously, I haven’t eaten any refined sugar, white flour or dairy yet this week. Amazing. Truly. If you know me, you know I like me my treats. Here are a few observations…

    • I feel good after everything I eat, which isn’t always the case in “normal” life – more often than I’d like, I have meals that make me feel heavy and sorta yucky. That hasn’t happened this week.
    • I’ve never done any kind of diet before. Now I know firsthand why they don’t work. If you can’t have something, you think about it and want it even more. That is no way to live and I know why it doesn’t work.
    • It is really tricky planning meals without sugar, white flour or dairy allowed. The salad I had planned for the week? Sugar in the dressing. The bolognese recipe I was going to try called for 1 cup of cream. Even when I thought I had planned meals that would work, they didn’t. It’s been tough!
    • Sugar is in everything. Seriously. When you cut sugar, you realize how much you eat it. Now I totally believe the stats about the amounts of sugar Americans eat each year. That’s because it’s in everything we eat! Pasta sauces, salad dressings, cereals, dried fruit, the list goes ON.
    • I was so hungry (and grumpy) the first 2 or 3 days! But that’s getting better…I think because I’m figuring out better snack foods, planning our meals better, etc.

    I’m proud that I’ve stuck to my plan and I will continue to do so through the end of the week. But, I have to admit, I can’t wait to be done.

    However, I am not going to simply revert to my old ways. I will definitely watch my sugar intake more closely from now on. White flour was the easiest to cut for me, so I think that won’t be too hard to keep to a minimum. I’m not a huge dairy person normally, so there won’t be much of a change there. I have to say, though, I can’t wait to eat some cheese!

    PS – Some of you were wondering why dairy got the kabosh this week. I don’t have a good scientific answer for you yet, but here is a nice, short, balanced article about the pros & cons: Dairy: Good or Bad?

  6. Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    The Goods: Heirloom Tomatoes

    Homegrown tomatoes are the BEST, but until the day I start growing them, I’m stuck with buying tomatoes at the store. Which can lead to very disappointing results. But occasionally I come across some flavorful tomatoes that make me happy…like the Splendido little tomatoes I wrote about a few months ago.

    I have a new tomato love. Heirloom tomatoes. I’ve gotten them at my regular old grocery store and at Trader Joe’s. I have been very happy with both. First off, they actually have flavor. Go figure. In addition, they all have slightly different flavors from one another, making for more dynamic tastes in your meals. Plus, they look so pretty on your plate!

  7. Sunday, September 7, 2008

    Week 85 Menu

    Let me preface the following paragraph with this statement: I think “diets” are bad news. That said, I’m trying something out this week. It’s not a diet. I’m just not going to eat sugar, white flour or dairy. Just for 1 week. My Aunt Barbara, who is a health food nut, has been trying to get me to do this 1 week experiment for ages. I’m finally gonna do it. And when the week is over, the goal is to incorporate more healthy, whole foods into my diet. Don’t worry, I’ll let dessert back into the kitchen…so you’ll still get good recipes!

    What’s driving all of this? I don’t eat badly and I don’t eat much junk. But I could eat healthier. So, that’s the goal. To kick it off, I’m going see how I feel when I cut out some of the big offenders (like refined sugar). I will report on how it goes and how I feel after the week is through. I’m sure you’ll all be waiting with bated breath. 😉

    Now, on to the menu!

    – Grilled pork chops
    – Whole grain rice
    – Veggie or salad

    – Some sort of big dinner salad…
    Whole grain french bread

    – Bolognese over whole wheat pasta
    – Spinach salad with fruit

    – Leftovers

    – Something chicken…I’m going to try something new from TJ’s, but have to browse the aisles to find that special something

    – Eat out

    – Grilled Chicken
    Roasted asparagus or potatoes
    – Salad
    – OR…if it’s not too hot, I really want some Butternut Squash Soup, we’ll see how the weather is!

    A few menu requests…Candice – cream cheese chicken over pasta…Tamara – lasagna roll-ups and london broiler sammies…Emma – slow cooker orange chicken. I’m going to stop there…I could be requesting recipes from you all day! 🙂

    Time for your menus.

    P.S. You guys rock!

  8. Wednesday, August 27, 2008


    Let’s get corny, shall we? And I’m not talking stupid jokes, although those can be fun, too. No, it’s time to pull out all the stops on your corn recipes! It’s in season! It screams summer! Bring it on my friends! What’s your favorite way to eat corn? Do you have a great corn recipe? Please share!

    Cate and I stopped at a local produce stand today to grab a couple of ears…the people whose ears we grabbed were not amused. Okay, bad joke, I know, but this is a corny post after all. We simply boiled, seasoned and ate, which is pretty darn good in and of itself. But I’m certain there are more fun things we could have done with our cobs of corn.

    So, share your recipes or corn tricks. And if you’re stumped, the Queen of Good Things has a bunch of really yummy, beautiful-looking corn recipes herself…click here for some corny Martha inspiration. (Martha Stewart, corny? Never thought I’d live to see the day…)

    I don’t have a recipe to share, but I do have a corny tip:
    If you have a big enough pot AND you aren’t worried about appearances…leave the stem on! Makes for a great little handle while eating your corn on the cob. (You will have to resist the urge to break it off, which is always so satisfying…but I do love having that handle.)

    Now it’s your turn…recipes, tricks, tips, memories…if it’s corny, I wanna hear it (and so does everyone else)!

  9. Saturday, June 28, 2008

    FRESH Blueberries

    I’ve done it. I’ve planted a garden. If you know me, you know I have the blackest of all black thumbs. But I’m bound and determined to make this garden work. I only planted perennial flowers to keep it simple, but I did put a blueberry bush in. Yesterday I was able to pick the first handful of berries.

    They are delicious. Some are super sweet, others not so much. But they all taste so crisp and fresh. I think I like this super fresh food thing. Maybe next year I’ll add a few more edibles into the mix. We’ll have to see how this first year goes, though…

    PS…I’ve said it before, but aren’t blueberries just the prettiest?

  10. Friday, June 20, 2008

    Holy Zucchini!

    My friends are always trying to find ways to get on the blog…and my friend Natalee wins the prize this week.

    She’s working on her first garden and planted enough zucchini to feed most of the Bay Area for the summer. She decided to give me her state-fair-worthy zucchini…not because she likes me more than anyone else. She just wants some blog exposure, and she deserves it. This zucchini makes my strawberry look like a raspberry!

    I just love summer and fresh produce.