Yesterday I was watching one of my all-time favorite cooking shows – a lady from California making a wonderful vegan soup recipe. She poured the thick contents of the blender into the bowl, leaving a large amount in the blender then added water to the bowl to thin the soup.
She put the blender aside without scraping any of the remaining soup into the bowl. She COULD have put the water into the blender and swished it around, capturing all the yummy ingredients instead of wasting them. This would have taken NO extra time and would have demonstrated what I consider the essence of ecology cooking **
Television chefs need to set good examples. Silicone spatulas are a cook’s friend. Scrape all that yummy (expensive, healthy ingredients) food into the bowl/pot/container or onto your plate. Don’t waste it and, for heaven sake, don’t teach others to waste.
This chef’s wasteful behavior was frustrating to me because of all the people out there who might copy her example and has earned my rant.
Whether it’s mellow yellow in California or preservation of some resource – we all need to do our part. Our recent journey to Glacier National Park was bittersweet. The glaciers are disappearing. The naysayers of climate change seem to want to give us permission to not pay attention. Imagine a world without clean water. Be thankful of light switches that work. Hug a tree.
End of rant.
** What is ecology cooking?
Joyfully creating dishes
that are healthy and tasty
& conserve or preserve
energy, resources and/or time.
Great Post about how to cook broccoli and other kitchen tips. 11 minute video that I loved and share with my AdventureBuddies 🙂
I’ve ruined many a batch of long beans until I learned this method and now they come out perfect every time – crunchy and bright green, not gray and mushy. It’s a concept/way of approaching cooking that works for many things.
Of course, we heard about this on KQED (our local public radio station).
Top of the list again this year. If you love the outdoors, Bay Nature Magazine is a gift that gives all year long.
If you have a skeleton, Dr. Lani’s Bone Health book is a must read. I waited to read Susan Love’s Breast Book until AFTER I was fighting breast cancer. Please DO NOT wait for a diagnosis of osteopenia or osteoporosis to read this book.
|Click here to order Bay Nature|
Eating on the Wild Side: This life-changing (but badly named) book will help you make better, more nutritious choices. Learn how to buy, store, prepare fruits and veggies in order to make more nutritious choices, save money and shop smarter. More info and great pod cast – click here.
Once again this year – if you have feet – these massage balls will help them stay healthy. If you have a HINT of Plantar Fasciitis (or know someone who does), get them – don’t wait!
With Dad dying this year and mother-in-law failing, I’m aware that many of us are helping or dealing with an older adult who is at fall risk. This simple, high quality bed rail helps stabilize at one of the most risky times – getting out of bed. This is the one you want! Also, I carry a Handy Bar for helping clients get out of the car, it’s a great stabilizer as well as a seat belt cutter and window smasher. I hope I never need to use it for that!
What gift guide would be complete without a plug for POLES? Consider gifting a class (if you’re in Northern CA) or a video (for hiking or mobility) and or a new set of poles. To learn which poles best fit a person (and will help him/her achieve her goals), just complete the consultation form on this web page. I have some poles that are discontinued, so my stock of high quality poles is selectively available for special needs (like extra tall people, wrist or shoulder issues, etc).
For locals (Bay Area Residents), anytime tickets to the Mountain Play are a great gift. We go every year and the anytime tickets enable us to go when the weather is what we want (not hot). They are only on sale for a short time in December.
Happy & Safe Holidays!
Reading this book has changed how I purchase, store and cook vegetables & fruits. Faithful readers know I believe in ecology cooking (my very own mantra). But with a busy, full schedule, time is precious. Getting the most nutrition and value saves time, is frugal and makes healthy sense. The name of the book is misleading….read on
This is a super easy read. Each chapter is laid out logically. There are so many good tips and ideas – science-based – that I read with highlighter in hand. I keep it in the kitchen to reference after shopping (for storage) and before cooking (to get the most nutrition).
This book is filled with simple ways to up nutrition, prevent disease, improve UV protection…. I’m learning simple strategies for purchasing, storing and preparing every day foods to maximize their potential.
For example, simply chilling cooked potatoes significantly lowers their glycemic rush. Letting garlic rest for 10 minutes before cooking ensures maximum nutrition. There are WAY too many wonderful tips to share here. Do yourself a favor – get the book by clicking the link – I promise it will be the one of the best $twenty dollars$ you ever spent. Read it and let me know what you think? Enter a comment on this post?
If, reading this blog and me saying – BUY THIS BOOK – is not convincing enough, then read on or listen to the 20 minute Science Friday interview:
Jo Robinson is a bestselling, investigative Jo Robinsonjournalist who has spent the past 15 years scouring research journals for information on how we can restore vital nutrients to our fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy products.
The nutritional losses did not begin 50 or 100 years ago, she has learned, but thousands of years earlier when we first abandoned our native diet of wild plants and game and began to domesticate animals and grow food in the first primitive gardens. Unwittingly, the choices we made about how to feed our livestock and what to plant in our gardens reduced the amount of vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants in the human diet, which compromised our ability to fight disease and enjoy optimum health.
Robinson is a nationally recognized expert in how to recapture those lost nutrients. Her insights into the benefits of raising animals on pasture have been featured in scores of magazines, newspapers, and radio shows, including Sunset Magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, NPR’s All Things Considered, and Mother Earth News.
Her new book, Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, published by Little, Brown and Company, was released on June 4, 2013. It extends her expertise to reclaiming the lost nutrients of fruits and vegetables. The book has received stellar reviews and will be featured in seven magazines in June and July—Bon Appetit, Prevention, Health, Fitness, Epicurious, Oprah’s “O”, Mother Earth News, and Redbook. Jo will also appear on several national television programs.
In addition to researching the health benefits of wild-like fruits and vegetables, Jo has been growing the most exceptional varieties in her garden on Vashon Island. She believes that growing the most nutritious fruits and vegetables in backyard gardens is the wave of the future.
I’ve been a regular customer of this company for about 20 years. They focus on quality products, minimal packaging (yippee!) and unusual items. I love their mixes – bread mixes for my bread machine, cookie, brownie, gingerbread cake (great holiday item) as well as so many other items.
Here’s our 2013 picks:
Rada Tomato Slicer: At $6.10 this is one of the most amazing gift items EVER. Made in USA, the quality is superb and every single person I’ve given this knife to – LOVES IT! Before you gift it, I suggest you write in RED sharpee marker – Tomato Slicer – on the sleeve. Order several to give as gifts year round (especially in tomato season) and be sure to keep one for yourself!
Silicone Spatula Spoon: You’ll have to call or email to get this one. The large one is $12 and the small one is $8. The design is so cool! It sits up so that the spoon is raised. Silicone is durable and does not scratch non-stick pans. They come in great, bright colors. Great gift – very unusual and incredibly useful!
Rada Pie Plate: If you’re making a pie for the holidays, this pie plate ROCKS! At $23.25, it’s a bit pricey, but so worth it!
Granary Bulk Foods: 920-830-3311
In the morning, I boil a pot of water for tea. Yum! I pour the extra boiling water over my sponges in the sink. Also:
- I put my sponges in the dishwasher when I run it.
- I recently read in our local paper that another way to disinfect your sponges (which can harbor a TON of bacteria) is to put them in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds. Sponges must be wet when you do this. Time depends on your microwave. I actually get my sponge quite wet and microwave it for about 3 minutes.
- The other recommendation was use one sponge for dishes and another for cleaning the kitchen to prevent cross-contamination.
What’s your favorite kitchen tip?
Tis the season for crab! Here’s Brenda’s recipe for Gluten-Free Broiled Crab Cakes
- 1 lb of crab meat, picked over
- 1 tsp cider vinegar (for blue crab) or lemon juice (for dungeness crab)
- 1/3 cup finely minced parsley
- 1 egg well beaten
- 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 – 3 tbsp of mayonnaise
- 1 tsp prepared mustard
Pick over crab meat to remove tiny shell pieces.
Sprinkle cider vinegar or lemon over crab meat and gently mix.
Gently mix parsley into crab.
In a separate bowl mix, Group B ingredients together and then add to Group A ingredients, mix gently, but completely. Form balls for cocktail portions, or into paddies for meal portions.
Spray broiler pan with oil spray before placing crab on broiler pan.
Broil, high, on each side until brown.
(3 to 5 minutes or more depending on your oven.)
Stay close – these cook very quickly.
This recipe also works great for Salmon cakes (use cider vinegar) using either freshly cooked salmon, (good way to use left-over cooked salmon) or canned salmon.
Quick Cocktail sauce
- Good Quality Ketchup
- Add horseradish and lemon juice to taste.
- Optional – capers
Shared to AdventureBuddies by Brenda M. Goodwin, MBA
Principal, GoodWin Leadership, Executive & Leadership Coaching
Chair, Registration and Logistics at Professional Coaches, Mentors and Advisors
I call this Silky Soup. It’s a rich, nutritious, beautiful and super easy. Serve as an elegant appetizer, a snack or lunch on a hot day. The avocado adds richness and it’s a way to use the parts of mango you might otherwise discard. It looks like a lot of steps, but it’s fast and easy.
- 1 medium cucumber (make sure it’s a firm/thin cucumber or remove large seeds)
- 1 medium to large apple
- 1 mango, ready to eat
- 1 medium Avocado, soft and ready to eat
- fresh mint leaves
- 1 Lemon
Make soup in a food processor:
- If organic, rinse cucumber, apple, mango, avocado, mint & lemon.
- If not organic, wash with your favorite vegetable wash (we like Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap); rinse thoroughly.
- Zest just the outer layer of the lemon, set aside.
- Squeeze the juice of the lemon, removing any seeds, set aside.
- Peel cucumber, halve and remove any large seeds. Roughly chop to yield approx 1 1/2 cups.
- Peel apple and roughly chop to yield about 1 1/2 cups. Larger apple makes the soup a bit sweeter. Granny Smith apple will make it more tart. Experiment to see what you like or you can even use an apple that’s a bit past its prime.
- Cut mango halves away from large seed. Cube with dull dinner knife right in the skins. Scoop out the cubes into a bowl. Reserve the skins and seed.
- Put cucumber,apple & 1 tsp lemon juice in food processor. Pulse until blended. Taste and enjoy the cool flavors.
- Squeeze every last ounce of juice and bits from the mango seed into the food processor. Scrape the mango skins so that you get everything you can from that luscious ripe fruit. Discard seed and peel.
- Add about 1/4 of the cubed mango bits.
- Add 3 to 4 mint leaves (removed from stems)
- Pulse all of this until smooth.
- Peel avocado and scrape all the yummy bits into the mixture being careful not to add any skin or stem. If your avocado is large, start with just 1/2.
- Pulse until smooth and taste.
- Add another tsp of lemon juice and 1 to 2 mint leaves and pulse just to blend but that so you can still see little bits of green. Taste to see if you like the flavor or would like a bit more lemon or mint.
- Gently stir in most of the mango pieces now or after you put the mixture into bowls.
- Pour into small bowls using a silicone spatula so that you get every last drop out of the processor.
- Top with a bit of lemon zest and top with just 2-3 remaining mango pieces for color.
Have you ever seen Agatha Christie’s Poirot peel a mango? It’s art! There is a real technique to “peeling” a mango. Use a sharp knife (well, yes. all your knives should be sharp :), and we like using a carving knife). On a cutting board, insert knife lengthwise into mango and carefully cut around the big seed. This will give you 3 sections – 2 with the “meat” of the mango and the seed. On the 2 outer halves, (on a cutting board) you can use a dull dinner knife to cut both ways to make squares. Then, cradling the section in your hand, scoop out the squares with a spoon just as you would an avocado.
Never EVER cut into your hand with a sharp knife. I know this sounds silly, but I’ve seen my sister suture herself after cutting a bagel into her hand. Even expert, experienced chefs can make really stupid mistakes.
An AdventureBuddies’ Birthday Cooking Card (click on the link to see one of my favorite sites)
Do you pre-heat your teapot? Then do you pour that hot water down the drain? Or do you have boiling water left over in your kettle after making your tea?
If so, here’s something you can do with that very hot water. Pour it over your sponges in the sink. Or put your good knives (the ones you do not put in your dishwasher) in the sink and pour that hot water over them. Be careful not to pick up hot sponges or knives. Do not leave knives in the sink where they can become cluttered and then cut you.
Washing and/or sanitizing sponges is important. You can do it many ways. You can put them in your dishwasher when you run it. You can soak them in a solution of bleach and water. This hot water rinse is an interim way to clean your sponges.
If you have lots of hot water left over, you can pour it down your bathroom sink or tub. This can help clear your drains.
Green Grapes for Dessert? Yes!
I don’t know where this idea came from. I’ve successfully served it for over 25 years. Oops, dating myself 🙂
It’s so simple that you’ll probably just stop reading and dismiss the idea. TRUST ME. Try it and prepare to be amazing as you share it with friends.
The basic recipe from long ago:
- Green Grapes, sliced in half (I like lengthwise)
- Sour Cream
Yep, that’s it. Mix the sour cream and cinnamon and combine with sliced grapes. Prepare at least one hour ahead and serve only slightly chilled.
You don’t need much of the sour cream mixture – just enough to lightly coat the grapes. The cinnamon is to taste. Did you know that cinnamon is HEALTHY?
This is a great picnic side dish or a wonderful intermezzo or even (and maybe especially) a wonderfully light and healthy dessert.
Variations: I’ve tried light sour cream and I’ve tried 1/2 sour cream and 1/2 non-fat yogurt. I’ve even tried just non-fat yogurt, but think there’s something in the flavor of sour cream that works well with the grapes.