Good food

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IMG_20140710_083331_603 (1) I started my morning off with 2 farm fresh eggs, (not store bought), 4 ozs. white chicken, 2 Tbsp. green chiles, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. I also had a pink grapefruit and a protein shake. This is not my daily a.m. meal however.

I was reading a post from fellow blogger Kelly Toups about living close to Whole Foods and thought I would share a similar story. Living in the “Cowtown” of Columbus, Ohio, I am fortunate to be able to drive ten minutes to the country. Fresh produce, fruit, eggs and other offerings are an easy find for me.

IMG_20140925_092024_015 My wife and I enjoy going to farmers markets, and scouting out bargains. Last weekend we scored on seconds, (blemished), of Honey Crisp apples, sweet corn, cabbage, and tomatoes. The apples don’t last the way I go through them but we can, vacuum pack and freeze, or dry whatever we possibly can. IMG_20140925_092907_855 It is interesting and sad to hear negative comments about blemished food that is perfectly good, nutritious and marked down significantly. Some people are turned off to think corn may have a worm or fruit might be bruised. I don’t know about you, but I carry a couple of my own battle scars. We however have no problem enjoying the bounty that fall has to offer. I came upon a miss-sized mushroom order once at a produce outlet and my wife and I learned how to can mushrooms. Not only did we save a bunch of money but we learned something.

I hope you have an opportunity to visit a road side stand or farmers market and pick up your own choices of fresh food. The flavor is accentuated when you become more involved in the process and accomplishment of designing your meal around your purchase.

In fitness, Bob

Healthy Eating on a Budget

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This blog is a repost that deserves high praise. The PDF cook book is a bonus that is a must have in my opinion. Check out blogger Kelly Toups, R.D., and thank her for this awesome find.
In fitness, Bob

Kelly Toups, MLA, RD, LDN

The fact that I live exactly 0.3 miles away from a Whole Foods Market is both a blessing and a curse. With a paradise of healthy ingredients right around the corner from my apartment, I’m often tempted to stop by the store multiple times a week so that I can try a new recipe. But it’s adding up.

Pantry Cleanout: Chili roasted sweet potatoes and onions with corn, black beans, and spinach

Rather than face the prospect of a rapidly dwindling bank account, I have been trying to cook more from what’s in my pantry, rather than constantly getting lured into the grocery store. Above is one such dish I made this week. I had a small Tupperware of chopped bell peppers and onions in the fridge (the remaining bits that didn’t make it into my weekend omelet), so I roasted them up with a forgotten sweet potato, along with ample chili powder, paprika, and cumin. For protein, I tossed in a can of…

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Amla chickpeas red rice pulao

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The use of chick peas in this recipe is a great protein source with the full benefit of amino acids. Break out of your comfort zone and give this a spin!

Chitra's Healthy Kitchen

Chickpeas Amla Pulao

About:

Chole amla pulao is an aromatic rice dish with the healthy blend of amla.  A unique, simple, easy and healthy pulao.

Health Benefits:

Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, belong to the legume family, which includes a variety of beans, peanuts, soybeans and lentils. Opting for legumes over foods high in saturated fat might lower your risk of heart disease.

The health benefits of Indian Gooseberry, also known as Amla, can be partially attributed to its high vitamin-C content. Amla enhances food absorption, balances stomach acid, fortifies the liver, nourishes the brain and mental functioning, supports the heart, strengthens the lungs, regulates elimination of free radicals, enhances fertility, helps the urinary system, increases skin health, promotes healthier hair, acts as a body coolant, flushes out toxins, increases vitality, strengthens eyes, improves muscle tone and, acts as an antioxidant.

I served this pulao with pumpkin spinach gravy (link)

Served-2-3

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Are you hungry?

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Have you ever thought about the difference between hunger and appetite? You might think they are one in the same, however they are not. Hunger, quite simply put, is the need for food. Appetite is a desire for food.

If we did not listen to the demands of mood and had no external stimuli to suggest we were hungry, our brain would let us know when to eat. Thanks to marketing strategies, suggestions are around every corner. Marketing works. We see advertisements on TV, in magazines, on bill boards, buses, taxis, you name it, it is out there. How many times have you ordered something to eat because of the smell, sight, or a description of the pleasure you will experience?

Melting, gooey cheese, slowly dripping from a hand tossed, authentic pizza. Or how about a fresh cinnamon roll,  hot steam escaping the first piece as it is pulled away. Maybe it is the visibly fresh char marks in the final glaze of a sweet, tangy and mildly spiced piece of meat that is cooked to perfection over an open, smokey flame. This is appetite.

These wants, or desires, can and will occur at anytime, not just when you are hungry, and may not disappear after eating unless you have overindulged. At this time, you may feel good about what you ate, or you could feel guilty and ashamed.

Now let us look at hunger. Hunger is the biological response to what we need due to energy demands, low blood sugar, an empty tank, (stomach), or a need for warmth. Food should primarily be an energy source, not an excessive luxury.

If you have read my bio, then you know I like to eat. There is however a huge difference between need and want. All I am trying to do is to have you consider why you eat what you do, how often or how much. Do not get into the habit of rewarding yourself with food. Animals are trained this way, and if you are not careful , you may be training yourself for failure.

In fitness, Bob

CHICKEN AND GREEN BEANS WITH COCONUT MILK & CILANTRO / RICE NOODLES IN CHICKEN BROTH

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THE MEDITERRANEAN MICROWAVE

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–green beans (frozen)

–onion (one-half)

–coconut milk (lite, canned)

–cayenne pepper

–cumin

–cilantro (fresh if possible)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–rice noodles

 

1 – Chop onion and place in bottom of covered baking dish.  Add one-half cup of coconut milk and one-third cup of chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook on high in microwave for 3 minutes. 

2 – Place 2 handfuls of green beans in baking dish with the onion and coconut milk.  Nestle the chicken among the beans and onion.  Season with cayenne pepper, a little cumin, and cilantro.  Set aside.

3 – Place 2 handfuls of rice noodles in long, covered baking dish.  Add 1 inch of chicken broth.  Cook on high for 5 minutes in microwave.  Check to be sure that liquid has not evaporated.  Keep covered to preserve warmth.

4 – Cook the…

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Grapes and Walnuts and Cilantro and Tarragon

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What a fantastic side dish! Sweet, crunchy and healthy with little prep.

Sometime between 2007 and 2008, Sam and I went to a lovely French Bistro in Meridian, Idaho for a late lunch. It was a quiet restaurant, dark, and little bit lonely. I don’t remember what I ordered, but I remember what it came with: a grape and walnut salad with a honey mustard dressing. The grapes were split in half and lent their own sweetness to the salad. The walnuts added a crunch and a robustness missing from everything else. And the cilantro, apparently out of place in a French restaurant, sidled up right next to the grapes and walnuts like they were all best pals.

I can make this, I said.

You need to make this, Sam said.

We finished our lunch, ordered a cheesecake made with Gorgonzola (an amazing idea, and, unfortunately, one I haven’t tried to replicate) and headed to the grocery store to buy grapes.

The…

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Patriots Day – September 11

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As I sit here contemplating the significance of this day for myself, I also remember the Importance of taking the time to think of the countless numbers of lives that have been affected as well.

It was on this day that the first attack was made in New York, on the Twin Towers. My wife was to be in Tower Two that day working for the SEC and CFTC. Thankfully she had the worst, and best case of food poisoning in her life. She had to call in sick that day. I, like so many others, can recall vividly where I was at the moment I heard of the first crash. I was in Prescott, Arizona delivering concrete. My wife and I had not yet reconnected since high school.

I am not going into too much detail, simply remembering the lost lives and my own good fortune. Take a minute and remind yourself of how fortunate each one of you are for all that you have.