I confess: I’ve jumped on the chia seed bandwagon. At least when it comes to chia seed pudding.
You may be familiar with chia seeds from the chia pet craze of the 1980s.* Turns out, those quick-growing seeds are also a mini nutritional powerhouse, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a variety of amino acids (protein), and heart- and gut-healthy fiber. Yeah, that’s all well and good, but what’s really fun about them is the way they react to liquids. Continue reading
Yesterday, my husband and I started a dietary cleanse for the New Year. After more than a month of less-than-healthy holiday eating, it seemed like a great idea. But then we chose to base ours off the concept of the Daniel Diet, an extremely restrictive cleanse that allows no meat, dairy, refined carbs, leavened breads, sugars of any kind (even the healthy ones, like honey and molasses), caffeine, and alcohol. Instead, you eat legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. You’re supposed to do it for three weeks, which I thought would be easy-peasy. I used to nearly eat that way before as a flexitarian, and anything could be done for three weeks, right? Plus I love a good challenge, and new diets and recipes are always good blog fodder.
Today, I quit the cleanse. Continue reading
I get on kicks—when I find a quick and easy meal I love, I make it a lot. Lunch, a light dinner, a snack—it seems I can’t get tired of it. (At least for now.)
It’s happened again, this time with a simple, open-faced sandwich. All I do is take slices of summer-ripe tomato, avocado, and hard-boiled egg, layer them on a toasted baguette (adding sea salt and a few red pepper flakes to each layer), then drizzle everything with some fruity extra-virgin olive oil.
I like to make these open-faced so there are two, but they can get a little messy to eat that way. If you prefer yours a little neater, stack them like a traditional sandwich so the upper portion of the baguette can help keep things in place.
It doesn’t get much easier than this, folks. Thin slices of chicken, your favorite vegetables, garlic and ginger for freshness and flavor, all quickly cooked in a savory sauce. There’s no need to order takeout when stir-fries are this easy—and delicious—to make at home.
Plus, cooking your own stir-fry is nearly always healthier than anything you’d find at even the highest-end Asian restaurants. You can switch out the vegetables each time for variety, and it’s easy to keep the necessary ingredients on hand, so you’ll be ready to whip up a delicious, healthy weeknight meal in no time. Continue reading
If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been trying to take advantage of healthier foods lately, and what better way than to cut back on meat? By now, you may have heard of Meatless Mondays, a movement encouraging Americans to cut out meat one day a week. If Mario Batali can do it, why not the rest of us?
Two meatless superfoods that have recently become popular are quinoa and kale. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a complex carbohydrate that looks like a grain but is actually a seed. Aside from the usual health rewards of whole-grain carbs (high in antioxidants, minerals, and fiber), quinoa has the added benefit of being a rare, excellent source of plant-based complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. And I’ve already hopefully sold you on the benefits of kale when I used it in my lentil soup. Continue reading
Many cultures have various traditions and superstitions when it comes to the foods served in the first hours or day of the New Year. The best and luckiest of foods to eat, they say, will help you to live long and prosper in the coming year.
Most of the traditions surround foods that symbolize money in the hopes that the New Year will bring promises of new wealth. Greens are popular because of their similarity to stacks of green paper money. Flat beans, like lentils, symbolize the rich wealth of coins. That traditional pork and sauerkraut you’ve served every January 1 in memory? The cabbage (sauerkraut) represents money, clearly, but the pork also has significance: pigs are not only robust, sturdy creatures (and the wealthiest of folks in history were also fairly robust), but when they root in the ground with their snouts, it is always in a forward direction, symbolizing a year of progress and moving forward.
And so today, I bring you a recipe that should theoretically offer you riches in the coming year, based on tradition: lentil soup. Continue reading