Late Summer Salsa with Roasted Tomatillos

Green salsa never tasted so good!

Green salsa never tasted so good!

Why buy processed salsa from the store, when you can make salsa from fresh ingredients, with more flavor and pizazz? I don’t know either. Continue reading

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Summer Mushroom Foraging: Chanterelle Ingredient Profile

There are a lot of things to miss about the Pacific Northwest–the old growth forests and fairy-tale moss, misty foggy air that seems to carry the weight of native history, the mountains and clear lakes and streams, the majestic Puget Sound. But most of all, I miss the abundance of foraged food everywhere you turn. Whether in the forest or the city, you could get salmonberries by the Burke-Gilman trail or golden plums in the public parks or even better, mushrooms! During a year of plenty, we had oyster mushrooms, shaggy parasols, and lobster mushrooms. We’ve lived in the Southern Adirondack region now for over 6 months. We explored and hunted, but somehow missed morel season altogether. Then, alas! We recently stumbled upon some mushrooms! They’re not just any mushrooms–the most delicate, floral, treasures of the summer with the most beautiful name to match their essence: chanterelles!

First encounter with the beauties this year.

First encounter with the beauties this year.

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Dried Lily: Ingredient Profile of an Edible Flower

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Dried Lily Bulbs

There are many strange things at the Asian grocers, things that people don’t recognize. Whole aisles consist of bags of dried…stuff. You wander the aisle asking “Is that a bug?” “Is that an animal product?” “Are those eyes?” “What is that?!” There’s no need to be scared or intimidated. These things, my friends, are food. With a little water, they become somewhat recognizable and are essential ingredients in making a dish taste a particular way that you cannot make it taste otherwise. Continue reading

Modified Elimination Diet Here We Go!–Ways to let go of that sweet tooth

Say goodbye tiramisu

Say goodbye tiramisu

After years of badgering him, this week my partner woke up and said, “Alright, I’m ready to eliminate gluten, dairy, and sugar. Let’s start Wednesday.” My inner righteous self exclaimed, “About dang time!” But my taste buds and sugar-addicted mind yelled, “No!!! Don’t take this away from me!” Continue reading

Better than Drugs: Mood-Altering Effects of Eating with Others

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If you’re down in the dumps and the highlight of your day is to reach for the bottle, consider calling up a friend to grab some grub instead.  Or even better, make a meal together.  There is a body of research that suggests eating with others is associated with decreased depression and obesity.  Continue reading

Eat for the season: Winter

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Snowfall on a frozen Hudson River

We’re well past the winter solstice and the holidays, yet the 12 inches of snow outside my window prompted me to write about what exactly we should be eating in the winter.  Everything is dead.  There are no signs of fresh vegetation outside.  But, I can still get anything I want fresh from the grocery store, which can be confusing.  The holidays are a wonderful reminder of fall harvests and the types of foods available such as sweet potato, squash, cranberries, and nuts.  But when I go down the street to dine, the cafe serves me ice cold water, and I can choose from 5 different raw salads.  This is a big winter no-no.

In Chinese medicine, winter is about going inwards.  It is the most yin time of the year.  It relates to the kidneys and water.  When we look at nature, everything returns to the earth, remains a little more still, so that by spring, there is enough energy to regenerate.  It is a time for storage.  Continue reading

Getting Started: Grocery lists

Writing a grocery list is the first step in eating healthy.  A grocery list requires some level of planning.  It can help us save money and set the mood of what we will eat that week.  Having a list also supports our willpower at the grocery store.  Walking by the soda aisle becomes easier when you see that soda is not on your list.  You can also offer the list as a reason to your sugar-frantic child why you won’t be going home with Snickers this week.

Tips for Writing a list

  • Have about 3 meals in mind for the week.
  • Include a healthy proportion of vegetables, grains, and proteins on your list
  • Include a few items that will soothe a craving
  • Develop a list of “Always Items”
  • After you’re finished writing it down, look over and it and decide if there are things you don’t need. Continue reading