The 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released to the public on December 29, 2020. These guidelines are updated every five years. Panels of nutritional scientists and researchers meet to review the latest nutrition research on how to keep Americans healthy — what foods and nutrients do we need to eat. Their reports then undergo scrutiny by anyone who wants to make a public comment. (This amounted to more than 62,000 comments!) After all the comments are considered, a policy report is released to the public. The report is important because it dictates how government funds are allocated and spent, especially for food programs. As expected, one of the conclusions state that Americans don’t eat enough fruit. And this, unfortunately, is often true at our house. Although we always have fresh fruit around; sometimes it gets skipped. When I make a “Kitchen-Counter Fresh Fruit Bowl,” the fresh fruit seems to quickly disappear. Here’s a little more about the Dietary Guidelines and also how I make my fruit bowl.Continue reading
A recent survey showed that carrots are our country’s third most popular vegetable after corn and potatoes. (I wonder if this could refer to raw carrots rather than cooked carrots?) I do remember that carrot sticks were packed in practically every brown bag lunch that I ever ate when growing up. I can’t say that I loved the carrots, but I did tolerate them. Recently, Marie made a delightful carrot salad which is a delicious way to serve this vegetable. Marie’s recipe combines carrots with golden raisins and pineapple for a flavorful combination. And I used pre-shredded carrots to make this an easy “one-bowl” recipe. So while we are cookin’ at home, here is an easy variation of Marie’s recipe.
I’ve never been crazy about asparagus; until I discovered that the cooking method makes all the difference in the taste. Just barely blanched and still a little crunchy, asparagus is delightful. When overcooked; who can eat it? The recipe for “Red Potato and Asparagus Salad” is a great way to serve both these vegetables. In fact, it is one of my favorite recipes using asparagus. So simple, too. It is springtime in Louisiana, the flowers are bursting open. And I discovered a delightful surprise close by — a Bald Eagle and nest — another sign of spring. Some photos are at the end of the blog.
My winter garden is rapidly coming to an end as warmer weather and longer daylight hours of spring arrive. My Chinese cabbage grew very well this winter, I am pleased to say. I’m going to make one of my favorite salads — Ramen Chinese Cabbage Salad — with the last cuttings. This salad is easy to make and is very healthy, too. How nice to have a healthy vegetable which also tastes great. The salad has plenty of crunch which includes the “surprise” ingredient of dry ramen noodles.
This summer, I’ve started on a mission to eat more fruits and vegetables each day. Here’s one way to meet that goal. This recipe features cottage cheese — which was a staple in our meals when I was growing up — and pairs it with fresh summer vegetables. I’d forgotten how tasty this combination was –cottage cheese and garden vegetables. It is one way to meet my goal.
The inspiration for “Thai Crunch Salad” is my backyard garden. I planted an autumn garden on the first of September. A month later, I am pleased and proud that the pak choi has grown prolifically with very little help from me. It is ready for harvest and I need recipes.
I remember eating a dish for “Thai Crunch Salad” with chicken and a peanut butter, cilantro and lime dressing at California Pizza Kitchen. Although flavor combination was a bit unusual; the dish was outstanding. I’ve always wanted to try making it at home. Here’s my version. Continue reading
This week I’m on a road trip from Louisiana to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. It’s 1002 miles; a long drive. A home cooked meal is always welcome when we’re on these driving trips. Often we’ll stop at a Cracker Barrel restaurant. This restaurant chain is scattered along the interstates throughout the Eastern states; we discovered that they serve family-type menu foods. This time we stopped to eat at one somewhere in Alabama and I tried a new menu item: Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad Continue reading
This week’s recipe is a tribute to my 89-year-old neighbor, Tullio Saffiotti, a Sicilian immigrant who came here as a young man and established the fine fine wine business in Baton Rouge. He passed away recently. The recipe reminds me of the foods you’d find in the healthy Mediterranean Diet.
One of my goals this year is to eat more vegetables. Oriental Chicken Salad is quick and easy to prepare–it makes an entire meal. Best of all it uses the bok choy cabbage growing in my garden and other vegetables for a healthy and low-fat entree. My version of “Oriental Chicken Salad” uses boneless chicken pieces which are stir fried and then added to a salad with homemade dressing. Continue reading
What’s my favorite summer salad? Simply tomatoes and cucumbers marinated in red wine or balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I could eat this salad every day. The combination can easily be jazzed up, too, with a few other ingredients.