Seeds of Hope

Seeded Waffles with Coconut Sugar Yogurt

Another season has come and gone. And, spring started with a flurry of snowflakes that gifted me a snow day from work. It was an opportunity to get ahead of work deadlines. Instead, I slept in late, made a late breakfast and an early dinner was served. Against a bright snowy day, during an early evening hour, I sat down to work pass sunset. The snow continued to fall as if winter decided to catch up from the lack of snow days in New York City this year. The second day of spring was a warm winter-type of day, in which purple crocuses bravely grew in patches of snow as fresh grass with daffodil and tulips leaves continue to grow from bulbs planted two seasons ago.

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Not a Bland Chicken Soup with Farro

Chicken Soup with Farro

The doctor said to eat bland food for about one to two weeks. Hopefully, my minor stomach ailment will work itself out in that time period. She recommended rice, pasta or bread while avoiding spicy, heavy protein and/or dairy-based meals. After all, the goal is to eat easily digestible food, such as chicken soup.

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What Makes a Happy Meal

West African-Inspired Salad

We initially didn’t eat want the healthy options on fast food menus, because it wasn’t going to be a happy meal. Today, chefs are creating healthy meals into exciting options. Such as Panera Bread announcing plans to eliminate chemical preservatives and artificial ingredients from their meals by 2016. It was an 11 year process of working with chefs and nutritionists to change how fast food corporations offer healthier options with tantalizing ingredients.

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The Banality of Broccoli

Broccoli and Freekeh Salad

Broccoli is (le sigh) a common green vegetable. For people who are unfamiliar with food, it’s a safe vegetable to cook. As a premier healthy vegetable, it’s more likely to be dropped in everyone’s shopping cart. A carnivore restaurant includes it in their vegetarian menu. As a home cook, I walk pass it in the grocery store, because there are exotic vegetables to discover.

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Parade.com: Hold the White Rice and Get Your Freekeh On

The Freekeh Cookbook by Bonnie Matthews

Here’s a typical weekday situation: A recipe calls for rice. There’s only 30 minutes for dinner. Healthy brown rice takes 45 minutes, and unhealthy white rice is 15 minutes to cook. When it comes to time, I’m guilty of choosing the latter. I have tricks for using grains in weekday meals, such as doubling the requested amount and storing the difference in the freezer, or cooking slow-cooking grains—such as barley and farro—on weekends.

One of my favorite healthy and quick-cooking grains is whole-wheat couscous. Quinoa is another favorite, but the rinsing process is time-consuming. My recent discovery is freekeh, a familiar grain in Arabic cuisines with a 15 to 20 minute cooking time.

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