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Category: healthy eats

  1. Friday, September 18, 2009

    Pretty Tomato

    I turned around to chop this tomato the other night, and this is what I saw. I love these lucky moments of light.


  2. Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Guest Post on Make and Takes: Fun with Edible Nasturtiums

    Don’t miss my guest post over on Make and Takes today: Fun with Edible Nasturtiums

    cate eating nasturtiums

    Big thanks to my dear friend Christy who gave me the idea in the first place! Hope you can grow nasturtiums in your new home state of South Dakota, Christy!

  3. Call with Bob Greene, Oprah’s Personal Trainer!

    Last month I was invited to participate in a conference call with BOB GREENE…yes, THAT Bob Greene, Oprah’s personal trainer and health guru. There were less than 10 bloggers on the call (Bob’s first blogger conference call, in fact), and we each got to ask him two questions directly. He was super nice and shared some great information, so thought I would finally sit down and share it with YOU!

    barilla whole grain pasta

    Here are a few of Bob’s health pearls of wisdom! I’ll start with my two questions for Bob.

    1) Are vitamin supplements and vitamin-fortified foods worth it? Do our bodies actually absorb them and should we be taking/eating them? Bob said that yes, supplements are a good insurance policy. He talked about how even though vitamins directly from foods are the best, so much of our food is picked early, so its nutritional content is not as high as it should be. A vitamin supplement is a good way to fill in the gaps and your body will absorb some of the nutrients. He recommends taking a multi-vitamin and a calcium supplement each day. He also thinks the vitamin-fortified foods are great and help with absorption.

    2) How do you get kids to eat healthy foods? He literally said, “I know you’re all going to roll your eyes,” but just feed them healthy food. He talked about how it’s all about exposure. If they don’t know about something, they won’t want it. He also talked about the importance of the parents’ diet as an example to the kids. Okay, nothing I didn’t already know…but a good reminder nonetheless. I suppose the battle continues! ūüėČ

    A few other things he said that I liked:

    • When asked what one big habit should someone change to get healthy…he said there is none. It’s all about balance, small steps, gradual change. The most successful people are the ones who take small steps every day. When you try to change too much at once, you’re setting yourself up for failure. The key is BALANCE.
    • Any specific foods to aid weight loss? There are no miracle foods out there. Step 1: Eat smart…fruit in moderation, lots of veggies, lots of whole grains, foods high in calcium and fiber. Step 2: EXERCISE, including strength training
    • Beans are a super food…eat them at least 2 times per week.
    • Yoga – serves as an excellent strength training exercise. Again, he mentioned the importance of strength training and that the more body weight placed on a joint the better…strength training needs to challenge you in order to see change.
    • Regular pasta is different than white bread…as in healthier. It’s not the same refined white flour. That said…the whole grain pasta is even better for you than regular pasta!
    • Is exercising for 30 minutes twice in a day the same as working out for 1 hour at one time? Splitting your workout is okay to do. There are benefits when doing a long workout…but there are also benefits to getting two different boosts to your metabolism. Either way, you’re good…just exercise!
    • Bob loves BOB jogging strollers…which is funny since it’s his name. And might I add, I also love BOB jogging strollers…one of the best investments we’ve made.

    There you have it, the highlights from my hour with Bob!

    Oh! And you may be wondering why there is a box of Barilla pictured…Bob is working with Barilla to promote their new Whole Grain pasta line (hence the conference call). Visit¬† for more information. I bought my first box of their whole grain pasta and, as Bob promised, it was good! The texture was a bit nicer than other whole grain pastas that I’ve had and I definitely liked this penne better than other whole grain pennes I’ve tried. ¬†My way-gourmet friend¬†Adrianne lived in Italy for a few years and says Barilla is the only dried pasta in America that she likes…if it has Adrianne’s seal of approval, you know it’s going to be good!

    Thanks to Bob and Barilla!

  4. Wednesday, September 2, 2009

    Whole Wheat & Flax Cornbread Muffins

    Doesn’t all the recent chili talk make you want some cornbread? Yeah, me too! And all of the flaxseed chatter is really getting me excited to throw flaxseed into everything I eat! Okay, maybe not everything, but I’m thinking cornbread is a good candidate!

    I created these cornbread muffins the other night when we had chili and they came out great. I used white whole wheat flour (oh man, I love that flour) and ground flaxseed, and despite all that healthy-sounding stuff, they were great little muffins. I’m thinking the butter and sour cream may play a roll in that yumminess…

    Whole Wheat & Flax Cornbread Muffins
    Recipe type: Side Dish
    • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
    • 1 cup cornmeal
    • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
    • ⅓ cup sugar
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • ¾ cup sour cream
    • ½ cup milk (1/2 C is an estimate, start with that then add a little more if the batter is super thick‚Ä̬¶the flax and the whole wheat threw off my original recipe, which called for only ⅓ C milk)
    • ¼ cup butter, melted
    1. Mix together dry ingredients. Whisk together wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to dry ingredients and mix until moistened. Fill 12 lined or greased muffin cups with batter. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. (Um, sorry for the wide range in baking time‚Ä̬¶I have no idea how long I baked them‚Ä̬¶sorry!)


  5. Tuesday, September 1, 2009

    Ground Flaxseed

    In an effort to help my youngest daughter become “healthier” (I won’t got into details…trust me, you don’t want to know), I am on a quest. A quest to increase fiber and overall nutritional punch per bite in our family’s diet. I’ve discovered ground (a.k.a. milled) flaxseed on this quest and I’m excited about its potential!

    Flaxseed is high in omega-3 fatty acids, a good source of fiber, and can help lower cholesterol due to the presence of lignans. The Mayo clinic has some interesting info on health benefits and uses, like substituting ground flaxseed for eggs in recipes…who would have thought? (Quick side note: Flaxseed oil is very high in omega-3’s but does not have the fiber and lignans.) I’ve used ground flaxseed once in a baking recipe (which I’ll post about tomorrow) with great success. The box says you can add milled flaxseed to all kinds of things, including salads, cereals, smoothies and yogurt.

    Which leads me to today’s big question. Do you use ground flaxseed and what do you use it in? Do you ever use flaxseed oil? I’m a flax novice and want your best tips and recipes, so please share!

    Quick notes: Refrigerate flax seed after opening. Find more information at

  6. Wednesday, August 5, 2009

    Featured Recipe: Gobi Matar Sabzi

    My little sister just returned from spending two months in India. Last night she and her friend Kristen cooked us a vegetarian Indian dish called Gobi Matar Sabzi. It was awesome. I can’t wait to try cooking it myself when I get home and maybe even trying some other Indian recipes. By the way, for you parents out there…both of my girls gobbled this dish up!


    Featured Recipe: Gobi Matar Sabzi
    Original recipe from my veggie world ‚Äď Anne and Kristen changed it up
    Recipe type: Main Dish
    • 1 big onion ground to a fine paste
    • 1 big tomato pureed
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or minced fresh garlic, 1-2 cloves)
    • 1 teaspoon green chili paste
    • ½ teaspoon cumin
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
    • 1 cup cleaned cauliflower florets
    • salt to taste (between 1 tsp and 1 TBSP)
    • pinch of turmeric
    • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
    • 3 teaspoon garam masala powder
    • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
    • 1 tablespoon oil
    • chopped fresh cilantro
    1. In a large skillet, heat oil (mediumish heat). Add onion paste and fry till cooked or until raw smell disappears. Add ginger, garlic (if using fresh), green chili paste and saute for one minute. Add tomato puree and cook till paste is thick. Add powdered spices and salt. Stir then add vegetables. Cover and simmer over medium heat until cauliflower is tender. Add chopped fresh cilantro prior to serving.
    2. Serve with basmati rice, with fresh cilantro added to the rice just prior to serving.
    Jane note: this dish would be good with more kick, as well ‚Äď I liked it mild, but I want to experiment with making it spicier some time


  7. Friday, July 24, 2009

    Zucchini Recipes

    It’s summertime, which means any of you who have planted zucchini (or have friends who have planted zucchini) are probably buried in it. I can’t believe how that plant grows, and grows, and grows. If you’re looking for something to DO with all of that zucchini, check out last year’s call for recipes. Don’t miss the chocolate zucchini bread recipe!

    There are also a bunch of zucchini recipes here on the Martha Stewart website that may be fun to peruse and try out.

    If you have more zucchini recipes to share, please click here and add it to the comments!

    Happy Zucchini-ing!

  8. Friday, June 26, 2009


    Today it’s all about kiwifruit. I had the opportunity to attend a really fantastic lunch this week…more on that another day. One of the companies at the lunch was Zespri.¬†Zespri represents all of the kiwifruit growers in New Zealand. They had samples of kiwifruit on hand and every course of our lunch had kiwifruit incorporated…and it was delicious!

    I learned a lot about kiwifruit.  Here are a few of my favorite facts:

    • Kiwifruit is SUPER healthy. ¬†Tons of potassium, vitamin C and fiber.¬†
    • There are two varieties, green and gold. ¬†I’ve had green many times, but I’d never even heard of gold. I LOVED the gold variety.¬†It’s sweeter than green and is harvested ripe, so it’s always ready to eat.¬†Sadly, gold kiwis are harder to find in stores. ¬†Asian food markets are more likely to carry gold kiwis, but you could also put a request in at your supermarket if they don’t carry it. ¬†¬†
    • Green kiwis contain an enzyme that tenderizes meat (and curdles dairy, if you ever need to do that!). If you leave a couple of slices of green kiwi on your meat for about 30 minutes before cooking, it will tenderize the meat!

    The moral of the story? ¬†Go track down some gold kiwis. You’ll thank me.

    Zespri’s¬†website is a great resource, with lots of recipes.¬†

  9. Tuesday, May 19, 2009

    What the Watermelon?!

    Is there anything LESS disappointing then cutting open a watermelon only to find this:

    No, there isn’t. ¬†Seriously, Isn’t watermelon supposed to be red? ¬†Light pink just isn’t right.

    I haven’t bought a GOOD watermelon in years. ¬†I’m not exaggerating. ¬†Am I just a bad watermelon selector? ¬†Or are watermelons simply the victim of mass-produced produce?

    Alton Brown once said on Good Eats that you should pick watermelons with a bigger yellow spot on the bottom. The yellow spot supposedly indicates that the watermelon was in the field longer before being picked, therefore more ripe.  No luck folks, the trick does NOT work. Which was disappointing to discover, normally Alton is right on.  And I really wanted him to be right this time.

    Is finding a good watermelon just a crap shoot? ¬†Does anyone feel as sad about this situation as I do..or am I just nuts? ¬†Wait, don’t answer that.

  10. Wednesday, May 6, 2009

    “New” Favorite Method for Cooking Corn on the Cob…the Old Fashioned Way!

    I’ve been cooking corn on the cob in the microwave for years.¬† Wrap it in plastic wrap (or put on a plate covered with plastic), pop in the microwave for a few minutes and you’re done!¬† But I have to admit, cooking the corn in plastic in the microwave makes me a little nervous.¬† So, the other night with cobs of corn in hand, I got out my big pot and started boiling some water.

    I did a little research online and found this unbelievably SIMPLE method on Epicurious. Of course it takes longer than the microwave, but it was just as easy and the corn came out perfectly.¬† So, without further ado, my “new” favorite way to cook corn on the cob!


    "New" Favorite Method for Cooking Corn on the Cob...the Old Fashioned Way!
    Adapted from Epicurious
    Recipe type: Side Dish
    1. Bring pot of salted water to a boil (enough to cover the corn). Drop already husked corn into water. Cover pot, return to a boil, then turn off heat and keep the pot covered. Corn is ready in about 5 minutes. Voila! (You can keep additional ears of corn warm in the water for up to 10 minutes without it getting tough.)