‘Blog’

Pumpkin Sage Soup

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Serves 4

2 T butter

1     med onion, diced

2     carrots, peeled and diced

1     apple, peeled and diced

1 T fresh sage leaves, chopped

2 c pumpkin, canned or fresh, puréed

3 c vegetable stock

½ c evaporated milk

pepita seeds

Stockpot Over Medium Heat

  1. Melt butter; sauté onion, carrot, apple & sage 8-10 min
  2. Purée above mixture with pumpkin in processor or blender
  3. Return purée to stockpot, add stock & simmer 15 min
  4. Add milk and simmer 5 min
  5. s&p to taste
  6. Garnish with pepita seeds &fresh sage

Simple Holiday Treat – Hazelnut Maple Biscotti

hazelnut_biscotti

In an effort to simplify my life this holiday season, a theme that resonates with me every year, I have been thinking about ways to pare down my life. This thought started with a simple trip to the grocery store where I noticed the shelves were filled with an overabundance of holiday food items, that sadly, go to waste. It goes without saying that we live in a world of abundance, particularly when it comes to food. Of course, this is not a blog about world hunger, but it certainly gives you something to think about in this season of plenty.

 

Obviously, being a nutrition professional, I have a love of food so I am not going to totally forgo the joy of baking, just stick to my favorites that I know will be savored by family & friends alike.  My personal favorite holiday treat is Hazelnut Maple Biscotti; nothing beats this divine combination of chocolate and hazelnuts.

 

So, I will savor my biscotti and all the simple pleasures the season has to offer.

 

Hazelnut Maple Biscotti

Hazelnuts (a tree nut) are a good source of folate & dietary fiber.

 

½ cup pure maple syrup

½ cup hazelnut butter (I ground my hazelnuts which is actually pretty simple)

¼ cup butter

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1-teaspoon vanilla

1-tablespoon hazelnut liquor (optional)

3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

½ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup lightly toasted hazelnuts

Semi-sweet or Bittersweet Chocolate for drizzle

 

Preheat oven to 325. Line cookie sheet with parchment or silpat. In a medium bowl, cream together maple syrup, hazelnut butter and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and liquor, blending well. In a larger bowl, combine flours, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to blend. Make a well into dry ingredients, add egg mixture and mix until incorporated. Add nuts. (Knead by hand if necessary). On a lightly floured board, divide dough into half and roll into 2 14-inch logs. Place logs on prepared sheet, then flatten about 1 inch high. Bake for 25 minutes or until loaves spring back when touched lightly. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Reset oven to 300. Slice cookies on the diagonal. Place slices flat on baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes (a lot of this process is trial and error; I like my cookies crisp so I bake longer). Remove from oven and let cool. Drizzle with chocolate (or dip in chocolate) if desired.

Two words

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Things move fast in the kitchen, and when the day is done, things move fast…out.
This article came advertised as “how to communicate in two words.” I’m thinking…this could be a good thing in a place where there’s not much extra time!

 

“Words are tools of influence. At the beginning, you say things you need to say. As time passes, you learn to say what others need to hear.”

 

Two words can..

deflate (“you lose”)
prompt action (“what’s next”)
help when things go wrong (“forgive me”, or “it happens”)
compliment when things go right (“love it”)
challenge (“try again”)

 

As we hustle and bustle in our ever-busy work and personal lives:

  • Speak to make things better.
  • Be courteous (or…kind, positive and gracious). Good manners matter most when you feel like ignoring them!

Students Experience, Enjoy “Green Cuisine”

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Article from Inspiration Lab

 

Sidwell Friends has been committed to cleaner and greener food since 2004; its “Green Cuisine” program now incorporates, wherever possible, ingredients and practices that are truly sustainable.

 

Teaching “food intelligence” is an important factor. The menu planning, preparation methods, ingredients, and dishes make everyone on campus more mindful. “Meatless Menus” emphasize that eating less meat is better for our health and environment, reducing factory farming, water contamination, land degradation, and greenhouse gases. Using local, seasonal ingredients maximizes freshness and minimizes the distance food is transported, thus saving energy, reducing pollution, and supporting local farmers and merchants.

 

Mealtimes are also opportunities for students to discover where the food on their menu originates and what it does for their bodies; they learn to avoid waste by taking only the amount of food they’ll actually eat, a practice that contributes to a more affordable dining program. On a daily basis the school ships its compost to local farms, which includes Sandy Spring Friends School’s farm.

 

When everything comes together in the cafeteria, the results are impressive, and include a main entrée hot bar with a vegetarian option; nutrient-rich dark green leafy vegetables seasoned only with fresh herbs—some from the Lower or Middle School rooftop gardens—and fresh salad, sandwich, fruit, and yogurt options. There are no processed foods, added MSG, trans fats, fried foods, added-sugar sweets, high-mercury fish, high-fat ingredients and recipes, or non-seasonal imported foods.

 

Each food-related goal is reflected in the menu and experienced in the food served. Students are now more open to new foods and tastes, a testament to the success of “Green Cuisine.”

 

For more detailed information on the program visit this link.

Ben Franklin

Positivity vs Negativity - Two-Way Street Sign

Twice in less than four weeks a quote from Mr. Franklin has been a source of inspiration. At MG’s Foodie QA meeting last month (thank you team Hollins for graciously hosting us!) we started our day with this: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” A great reminder that when we include and engage one another, we can…and do…accomplish so much more.
 

But, inevitably, we are faced with an unhappy “customer” (guest, client, or even a team member — “internal customer”). In Angry Client?  Listen and Keep Your Cool, there’s some guidance on how to turn their frown upside down (including a second quote from Ben):
 
1.  Attitude: when approached (in person or through email), decide how you will feel — attacked or empowered? YOU get to decide this. Really. These situations are always a chance to prove your value (and MG’s), so decide that you will.
2.  Detach: be professional (depersonalize), suspend judgment, and….move to step 3.
3.  Listen: someone unhappy wants and needs to be heard…give them that. Keep your entire focus on them, their words, and what’s behind them (even if they’re wrong and even if you don’t understand).
4.  Focus: seek that temporary, partial or even total remedy. They are coming to you because you CAN do something to help them (even if it’s just to listen).
5.  Examine: here’s the second piece of Ben Franklin advice: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Can you say process check? Figure out how to avoid this situation in the future. Is it communication? Is it logistics? Whatever it may be, you’ll find out if you do a process check.

Nutrition Tips from the Experts

Nutrition

There is no shortage of nutrition information on the Internet, but whether or not this information is scientifically accurate is another story.  Countless purported experts are giving advice on how to eat right & exercise.  That is why I loved this recent blog from appetite for appetite for health, which highlights nutrition tips from the real nutrition experts, registered dietitians.  As they so aptly puts it “Dietitians follow nutrition research, and our recommendations always stem from human clinical trials conducted at reputable universities and published in top-tier medical journals. How we eat and live aligns with the totality of the science (not one new study), too, so while our tips may not be new — they do work.”

Read on for nutrition advice from the Nutrition Pros, courtesy of the nutrition experts at appforhealth.com

Healthy Eating Tips from Nutrition Pros

Enjoy a daily treat

There’s a certain mental satisfaction that comes with knowing you don’t have to eat perfectly 24/7. And although I’m a total health nut (understatement!), I appreciate having the wiggle room to be spontaneous with my kids or sample something truly special at an event or party without any guilt.

The payoff

Giving yourself the allowance for a portion-controlled daily treat removes feelings of deprivation, which in turn enables you to stick with an overall healthy eating regimen. Win-win. — Joy Bauer, MS, RD, Today Show Nutritionist

Eat more of the good stuff

While nothing is really off limits, I aim to load up on the healthier foods and enjoy smaller amounts of less healthy food. For example, instead of a bowl of ice cream with a few berries on top, I’ll have a bowl of berries with a spoonful of ice cream on top. I’ll fill half my plate with veggies and have a smaller portion of protein and grains. I also choose satisfying nutrient-dense “real” foods and eat them in smaller amounts. For example, I’d rather have a little bit of a flavorful full-fat cheese than a reduced-fat cheese with not much satisfaction.

The payoff

I can eat whatever I want and never feel deprived, while still maintaining my weight and getting important nutrients in my diet. — Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Eat Right When Time is Tight

Eat every few hours

I plan on eating something every 3 to 5 hours. Once I’m comfortably satisfied after eating a meal or snack, I stop before becoming too full. I remind myself that I can finish what I’m eating or eat something else again in a few hours, but only if I’m hungry.

The payoff

When I set myself up for regular meals and snacks throughout the day, I’ve found it’s the easiest way to keep my craving for refined, carbohydrate-rich foods like cookies and other baked goods in check. — McKenzie Hall, RD, NourishRDs

Choose an activity you love

I do an activity that I love every day — and that’s usually yoga. I find yoga extremely challenging for my body and my mind. I tell my patients all the time that exercise shouldn’t be torture, but rather enjoyable. And for every person, that could be something totally different.

The payoff

If you exercise on a regular basis you could have more energy, better weight control and a little less stress. — Keri Gans, MS, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet

Make easy substitutions

I don’t believe in deprivation, so I enjoy just about everything… in moderation. I’m always looking for ways to make everyday favorites healthier without sacrificing taste. For instance, when baking, I’ll cut the sugar by 25 percent and I use canola oil in place of butter, margarine or shortening because it’s lower in saturated fat than most vegetable oils and has more beneficial omega-3s. I also love chocolate, so I make sure I eat dark chocolate rich in beneficial flavonoid antioxidants.

The payoff

I don’t feel deprived so it’s easier for me to stick with an overall healthier diet 90 percent of the time. — Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, co-author of The Real Skinny

Monitor your movement

I stay active on most days (typically six times a week) and keep tabs on my daily physical activity by wearing a fitness tracker. It keeps me accountable as I strive to meet my daily goal of 10,000 to 12,000 steps (the equivalent of about five to six miles).

The payoff

Wearing my tracker not only helps me track my fitness stats, but it actually motivates me to move even more than I might otherwise. I have been active for years, but I’ve learned that I really like knowing not only how far I’m going when I walk around the city or on the beach or hike, but how much time I’ve spent being sedentary. I’m always so proud when I surpass my goal and know that staying accountable gives me the positive reinforcement I need to continue. – Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN, author of Younger Next Week

Make it simple

My meals are always delicious, but simple. That means no sauces, gravies or extras that often pile on a lot of extra calories. For example, at dinner I have a piece of simply prepared lean protein (grilled salmon, beef or boneless chicken), a side veggie off the grill or steamed with a squeeze of lemon and a big green salad. I also exercise every day — even if it’s only a 30-minute walk.

The payoff
I get to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and weight maintenance is easy. — Kathleen Zelman, MS, RD, Director of Nutrition, WebMD

Eat fresh with frozen

I stock my freezer with plenty of frozen fruits and vegetables that I can grab at a moment’s notice for a variety of meals and snacks. I use frozen veggies to add to soups or egg or bean or casseroles, and I always have frozen berries to make my favorite smoothies with almond milk and Greek yogurt.

The payoff

I get more fruit and veggie servings in my diet because I don’t have to rely on what’s in-season or what I have that’s fresh at home. Studies also show that frozen foods are often as nutritious as — and sometimes even more so — because freezing locks in the nutrients of fresh-picked produce. (Frozen raspberry-beet smoothie recipe.) —Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, Wellness Manager at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute

Balance your plate

I strive to fill half of my plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter for lean proteins and a quarter for whole grains. My “quarter plate” of lean proteins rotates between legumes, nuts, seeds, chicken, seafood, yogurt and milk. And my quarter grains are almost always whole grains. I indulge in good meat at restaurants, and enjoy a bit of dark chocolate, coffee and wine almost daily.

The payoff

Following the balanced eating plate method and paying attention to hunger cues allows me to enjoy beautiful, scrumptious whole foods until perfectly satisfied. — Michelle Dudash, RDN, chef and author of Clean Eating for Busy Families

HopeTree Family Services to celebrate 125th anniversary in 2015

Submitted by Hayley Reed

 

The Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce held a Wake Up To Business breakfast event from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, at HopeTree Family Services in Salem.

Members of the community and the chamber joined HopeTree President and Executive Director Stephen Richerson for a video presentation, networking and delicious food catered by HopeTree’s dining services.

HopeTree also announced that it will be celebrating its 125th anniversary of providing care for at-risk children and youth, as well as adults with developmental disabilities, in 2015.

The Salem-Roanoke County Chamber would like to thank HopeTree for their membership and support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: The Roanoke Times

Tuscan Garbanzo Bean & Kale Stew

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Serves 16

¼ c            olive oil

½ c ea       celery, carrots & onion, finely diced

6 lb           fresh mushrooms, quartered

4 t             fresh garlic, minced

3               15.5 oz cans garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed

28 oz        canned diced tomatoes, with juice

1 t ea        crushed red pepper, dried thyme leaves, ground coriander

3               bay leaves

24 oz       tomato sauce

3 ½ c        water

1 lb          kale, stemmed, cut in ½” strips

                shredded parmesan

s&p

 

In Medium Stock Pot

1. Heat olive oil on medium

2. Add celery, carrots, onion & mushrooms; cook, stirring 6 min. Add garlic, cook 1 min

3. Stir in garbanzo beans, diced tomatoes & spices. Cook 2 min

4. Add tomato sauce & water. Simmer 20 min

5. Add kale, simmer another 10 min

6. Remove bay leaves

7. Sprinkle each serving with parmesan

*Can sub swiss chard for kale

Uninspired? Improvise!

veggie-bowl

My bookshelves are lined with many cookbooks.  Despite my wide variety of culinary instruction my wish list on Amazon remains filled with desired books.  However, overflowing bookshelves does not always lead to motivation to create meals.  Feeling uninspired this weekend I stared at my farmer’s market purchases-green beans, zucchini, squash, carrots & tomatoes. Because no particular cuisine was calling to me I thought what better way to combine this produce then a colorful late season vegetable soup.  I remembered a gem of a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, Herb and Garlic broth.  Not having all the ingredients on hand, I improvised with garlic, carrots, fresh thyme & parsley to come up with a quick stock for my impromptu vegetable soup.  Dinner ended up being a delicious, warm, homey soup served with a side of cornbread muffins. Not bad for an uninspired dinner.

Finding Your Fiber

grains

Most of us know that eating fiber-containing foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are good for our health. Unfortunately the great majority of us consume less than half of the daily fiber recommendation. Never fear, food manufactures have come up with a way for us to consume our daily fiber intake without even so much as picking up a fruit or vegetable. The grocery store shelf is loaded with “high fiber” products such as cookies, brownies, bars, “fruit” snacks, drinks, muffins, and white-flour pastas and breads. A chocolate brownie with “4 grams of fiber” must be healthy, right? However, these processed foods get much of their “fiber” from something called isolated functional fibers like inulin, polydextrose, and modified starches. What exactly are these isolated “functional” fibers that they are putting into these “healthy” foods? Isolated fibers are either extracted from foods or chemically synthesized and are added to foods not naturally rich in fiber. Marketers claim that eating  these fibers will lead to weight loss by making you feel full. While we know that a diet high in natural fiber contributes to satiety, most added fiber in food or drinks is unlikely to have the same affect.

 

The bottom line, stick with real plant based fiber rich foods (beans, fruits, vegetables, whole grains) that can lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity as well as help prevent constipation. And as Nutrition Action puts it so well “added processed fibers don’t turn cookies, brownies, bars, and shakes into beans, bran, berries, and broccoli. But they do turn little white powders into bigger profits.”