Flour Power

I figured if I’m starting a feature called “Savvy Substitutions” and it focuses heavily on baked goods, it might be advisable to explain different types of flour and their ratios in baking compared to the ‘other white stuff.’  Of course you know it begins with whole-grains, and organic whenever possible.  Wheat is one of the most pesticide laden crops in America, so it truly pays to buy the purest product available.  This way you can go right to your pantry when a recipe calls for spelt (a cousin of wheat) or another alternative and know how it might affect the taste and texture of your creation.

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Espresso Shortbread

One of my loyal readers suggested I take a recipe, convert it to ‘healthy,’ and report the before and after.  Truth be told, unless I specify that it was newly created, most recipes I send are adapted to use whole grains, etc. – especially in baked goods.  This week in the San Francisco Chronicle, they published several recipes using coffee.  Of course I went right to the dessert, and found a decadent cookie which made my mouth water.  While I am not a regular consumer of the beverage, I absolutely love its flavor.  And Jay whips up a cappuccino each morning so we always have espresso at the ready. Click to continue reading »

Coconut is a Healthy Fat

There, I said it.  And I feel so much better.  Not just because I said it, but because I eat it…and often.   I haven’t gained a pound or lost an ounce of energy in the process.  I eat it in all forms – raw, oil, milk, shredded.  In case you hadn’t already figured it out, just ask my classmates how loco I am about coco.

How did this luscious fruit get such a bad (and dare I say, undeserved) rap? For years we have heard the ‘experts’ make claims that fat makes you fat, canola is the healthiest cooking oil, and coconut is a bad fat which promotes heart disease. Actually, none of these widely accepted ‘truths’ are in fact true.  But don’t just take my word for it…here are more experts as to the reasons why: Click to continue reading »

Got Almond Milk?

For those that are looking for a dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk, this post is for you. Almond milk is a delicious blend of pure water and almonds with a little time added for preparation.  Just as with the nut itself (minus the fiber,) almond milk is nutrient dense and a great addition to many meals. Click to continue reading »

Creamy Carrot Curry Soup

If it’s Tuesday, it must be another challenge of  ‘what to make for dinner.’  Having just returned from a trip to the southwest (go Giants!), I came home to an empty kitchen with no time to spare. As I raided the fridge, I uncovered a fresh bunch of carrots from Thursday’s delivery, still crisp and sweet.  I always have onions and ginger on hand…and started to sense a recipe for another blender concoction in the making.  Click to continue reading »

Stretch Your Wallet, Not Your Waist – Part 1

While the economy has brought on some pretty dire news lately, I have noticed something quite  heartwarming with regards to food.  There seems to be a subtle movement to return to the good ol’ days of cooking at home and enjoying leftovers!  For me, this is a common practice…but for many, the thought of it can be almost daunting.

There are scores of ways to save money on food with a little planning.  Much of what we eat today may be convenient, but for that we pay the price.  And I know the investment of time is worth the investment in my health – both for my body and my bank account. So let’s identify some ways to cut costs in the kitchen… Click to continue reading »

Eating for Health

It’s nice to hear positive news every now and then, especially when it comes to money and our health.  Yesterday the NY Times published an article about our first lady, Michelle Obama, committing to eating healthy and spreading the good word. How encouraging that someone with such visibility and influence is taking a leading role by influencing everyone from our children to those who need it most.

The day before, our friend in real food, Michael Pollan, solicited readers to share thoughts on ‘smart eating’ and has received over 1,900 responses to date!  Comments range from “Cook every meal at home using real ingredients and you will be eating healthy,” (which I will expand upon in ‘how to save food $ at home’); “Food rule : enough is too much,” to “Don’t eat anything you can buy at a gas station.” Click to continue reading »

More Reasons to Buy Organic

Sorry for missing a week. I was enjoying the good life in Hawaii and haven’t quite mastered the remote blog mechanics just yet.  But more on that later!

Periodically I will jump back on my soap box to eschew the virtues of eating organic and sustainable foods.  This morning the New York Times provided yet another compelling article which highlights the hazards of melamine – found in much of the human food chain – especially imported from China.  In summary, this dangerous chemical is infecting many of our staples, which is of even greater concern to young children.

Of course we know about this product from the pet food recall last year which killed thousands of dogs and cats.  But melamine seeps its way into our own agriculture through conventional fertilizers, and can affect not only the beef we consume, but the milk from cows and eggs from chickens who eat contaminated feed.

Bottom line (again) is to stick with trusted food sources which are locally grown. Personally, I am not feeling too confident about many of China’s assurances these days…and my body is my temple.

>> Just in time for Turkey Day – check out this Sam Fromartz’ post on how to order local items, from fresh greens to the big bird.

Are You A Green Foodie?

Like many people, I subscribe to several blogs and every now and then, I actually read them:) OK seriously, I do, and today I’d like to share one of my favorites: The Daily Green.  It covers a range of my favorite topics – food, the environment, green issues, and recipes – everything except pets (a future blog.)  Inside today’s edition there’s a quiz for my fellow devotees committed to living green and ingesting organic. It tests your knowledge on a variety of food sources and briefly touches on the Slow Food movement. Even if you’re inching your way towards sustainable food (bravo!) I think you’ll find it educational and hopefully inspiring.  Afterall, that’s why we do this.  It’s delicious fun!