Unscrambling the egg

Unscrambling the egg

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. My current phase involves a bed of spinach, half an avocado, two poached eggs, and a couple shakes of freshly ground pepper and salt. Amazing. And healthy. I guess I don’t really care which came first, all I know is I love eggs and here’s why. Nutritional facts Eggs are an excellent source of easily-digestible protein: each egg has 6 grams of protein and about 80 calories. Although this is less protein than meat, the quality of the protein and the eight essential amino acids it contains gives it a high profile. This is why eggs are so great to eat in the morning: protein helps control appetite and makes you feel full for a longer period of time. Eggs are nutritionally dense, providing us with a myriad of fat-soluble antioxidant nutrients, vitamins, and minerals: B-vitamins (especially B12- remember “The B-complex”?), selenium, and vitamin A, just to name a few. Though eggs are high is cholesterol, they have very little saturated fat (the bad fat). Unless you are watching your cholesterol or are at risk for heart disease, having a few eggs per week should not be a problem. Since the yolk contains most of the cholesterol and the whites carry half the protein content, try mixing one yolk per two or three whites; you’ll get most of the nutritional benefit and your omelette will have a similar consistency and color. Fresh pastured eggs are higher in nutritional value. You may have already sensed this difference the first time you cracked open a fresh egg from the farmer’s market- brighter color yolk and...
Saucy Sunday

Saucy Sunday

Sundays sure can be saucy. They toy with your emotions, they’re insolent, as if to say, too bad, Monday is almost here! As a remedy for  the Sunday blues, I’ve put together three easy-to-make-at-home sauces, ready to be mixed with simple steamed vegetables or any other odds and ends you may have around your kitchen. So put your feet up, grab a book, and go enjoy your last lazy day with some sauciness. Tangy Tahini Dressing My attempt to recreate a dressing that was a foundation of my childhood- Annie’s Goddess Dressing. It made me fall in love with salads. Here is my own version. 1/4 C raw tahini 3 tsp. tamari 3 tsp. brown rice vinegar 1 tsp. ume plum vinegar 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1/4- 1/2 tsp. ceyenne powder (how spicy do you like it?) 2 tsp. sesame seeds (black and white, if you like) Put all ingredients into a jar or bowl. Mix together with a spoon or a whisk (the tahini takes a while to break down), meanwhile adding several tablespoons of warm water  until you achieve desired consistency. For a salad dressing, I like to add a little more water (4-5 Tbs) or for dipping sauce a little less (2-3 Tbs.) Walnut Miso Sauce This was a delightful discovery, and I make it all the time. 100% of the credit goes to Heidi Swanson from 101cookbooks, but I have to include it. If you make this sauce, you might as well double it or triple it since it takes a little bit longer and it’s so worth it. Just...
Spring flavors

Spring flavors

Green Pea Soup recipe from 101cookbooks.com Farmer’s markets are in full swing, fruits and vegetables are abundant, and food takes on a whole new taste, texture, smell and color… when else besides spring does it seem natural to eat a soup as astonishingly green as the one pictured above? (compliments to Heidi at 101cookbooks.com) Spring is a time for renewal and transformation as we move out the cold, wet, dark winter months of hibernation. This could mean shedding some winter weight by eating lighter foods and exercising more. It could also mean, ahem, spring cleaning- maybe it’s time to finally clean out your closet or get rid of those three-year-old canned goods in the pantry? Now is the time! Spring cooking is characterized by lighter cooking methods and more fresh foods, which help us harmonize with the energy of the season. Why eat seasonally? There are lots of benefits to eating seasonally, but here are the biggies: It’s pleasing to the palate. Pick a ripe cherry tomato off the vine and pop it in your mouth; prepare yourself lunch using handfuls of greens picked fresh from the garden. Notice how food tastes better when it’s eaten close to harvest? It’s true, and it makes sense: when food is transported over long distances, it must be picked before it’s fully ripe in anticipation of it’s journey. These fruits and vegetables are refrigerated and don’t ripen in the same way as fresh produce does, thus effecting their taste and texture. I stopped eating mealy, flavorless tomatoes in the middle of winter for precisely this reason. It’s more nutritous. Vitamins and minerals are more abundant...
The B-complex is.. complexing

The B-complex is.. complexing

photo Where do B vitamins come from and am I getting enough of them? Do I have to get them from animal products? From supplements? Are vegetarians at risk for being deficient? These are some of the questions I asked myself. It started when my natural health pharmacist recommended I take a B-complex supplement after I told her my fingernails break easily. I eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and I am not a strict vegetarian, so what was I missing? I embarked on some research to try to enlighten my (still-not-enrolled-in-nutrition-school) self. Looking into vitamins and supplements is like opening a can of worms, but nevertheless, here is the information I gathered. Feed back and comments are always greatly appreciated; what is your take on B vitamins? There are eight of these nifty and essential little vitamins that make up the “B-complex.” Although they come from different sources and don’t necessarily work together, their main biological functions are supporting a healthy nervous system and metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to convert them into usable energy. They also maintain the integrity of our skin, hair, eyes, liver, immune system, fertility; plus, there is lots of evidence that B vitamins help in treating some degenerative diseases. More specifics about each B vitamin: B1- Thiamine: Important for the metabolism of carbohydrates into glucose; helps the nervous system; improves mental function. Sources: whole grains, red meat, egg yolks, green leafy veggies, legumes. B2-Riboflavin: Helps increase iron levels; important for the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Sources: whole grains, milk, meat, eggs, cheese, peas. B3-Niacin: Promotes healthy skin, nerves, the gastrointestinal tract; corrects high cholesterol; reverses heart disease. Sources: high-protein...
Magic beans

Magic beans

Or, magic SEEDS, rather. They are…broccoli seeds Broccoli seeds make broccoli sprouts, which are light, crunchy, flavorful, and have the slight bitter cruciferous taste like broccoli does. A delightful addition to salads, sandwiches or anything else that can be used as a vehicle for eating them. Here’s the magical part: they are powerhouses of nutrients and vitamins, rich in antioxidants and enzymes, and even have a cancer-fighting quality due to its abundance of the anti-cancer phytochemical, sulforaphane. It’s like concentrating the nutritional benefits of three pounds of fully grown broccoli into a mouthful of green sprouts. Sproutable Foods In general, sprouting seeds, grains, or beans makes them more digestible. You know the rules for boiling beans: soak them overnight, discard the water, and they cook more efficiently and don’t give you… ehem, as much gas, right? This is because soaking initiates the sprouting process and also removes the phytic acid so that the minerals and vitamins can be assimilated by our bodies. When converting a seed, grain, or bean into it’s sprout form, though, they become more digestible because the proteins and starches change into simple sugars and free amino acids, and the enzymes and vitamin content increases. Healing With Whole Foods (by Paul Pichford) says sprouting “predigests” the nutrients in the seed, making it easier to assimilate and metabolize. How to: grow your own sprouts Growing your own sprouts is as easy as 1, 2, 3! Step 1) Soak a few tablespoons of any seed of your choice in a wide mouth mason jar for 6-8 hours. Attach a sprouting screen to the top or cover the mouth of...
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