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.
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.
Some time ago, I noticed extra weight gain. A panicked call was made to Mom. In a harsh and sweet tone of a voice, she said, “You know how to eat healthy. Now eat less and exercise more,” she continued with the reality of my dilemma, “…if you gain weight now, it’s difficult to get it off… You’re older and the weight doesn’t come off like it use to. There’s no excuse for being fat.”
Some may view the advice as insensitive. Personally, I appreciate the seriousness of it. Why cry about it when the solution is simple: Eat less and exercise more. The following morning, I was up at 6 am for a quick two-mile run. A food diary was started to find potential problems, which revealed large portions of food and too much sugar.
My email is flooded with PR representatives requesting reviews of health books about the latest diet trends. I delete the majority of those emails, because diets don’t work. All anyone needs is regular sleep, plenty of exercise, and a major overhaul of how they view food. It sounds simple, but learning how to live joyously is a difficult process that demands a lot of soul-searching. Read more
Say yasssssss to Spring being around the corner, especially after we had one too many snowstorms this past winter. As I’m writing this, we’re due for another snowstorm (or dusting) the next day. Usually my refrigerator is packed with flour, buttermilk, orange juice, eggs and maple syrup for a pancake breakfast. This time, there will be no pancakes to celebrate another snowflake.
Overlooking the buttermilk, I remove left over red quinoa from a salad made earlier in the week. I find other ingredients for a quick breakfast: Crisp baby kale, a new jar of harissa spice, fresh thyme and plenty of eggs. On a whim, a savory tomato and egg dish with a bit of harissa spice was made.