Try my new service Get Healthy Wellness Pep Talks
For the March celebration of the Week of Love and the VMonologues, I presented on how to feed yourself easy, fast and nutritiously the Q/A was wonderful. I also served a breakfast of Oatmeal in a Jar. Oatmeal in a jar is a cute idea but for a large group not practical. When it is brilliant idea and technique is if you want to make a weeks worth of grab and go meals on your day off. We seem to be in a revival of how to do old fashioned fast. These fast techniques seem expensive and cumbersome. Go back to techniques, recipes and menues women used at home between 1920-1945. They had stoves, some had refrigerators and most had more than 5 children.
Mother-recipes, these are recipes that are proportions and one varies the presentation, and flavors with different ingredients. This is one of those Mother recipes. I researched the DIY oatmeal in a jar and experimented, for the best outcomes use Old Fashion Rolled Oats and milk/milk alternative in a 1/1 ratio. The half pint jar is enough oatmeal for most, although online all the recipes are using pts. I found that was a 2 day or 2 persons meal. To that add 1/2-1/3 cup of fruit, my favorite was 1 tbs dried raisins or cranberries and 1/3 cup finely diced apples, 1/8 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp molasses. This tasted like my recipe and if making ahead toss the apples in 1 cup of water with 1/2 tsp of honey to keep them from turning dark. You leave this mixture in the refrigerator over night or for at least 4-6 hours. Longer, such as 5 days is okay. Remember nothing should remain in the refrigerator for more than 7 days and may items have a 3 day shelf life.
Here is the link! https://goo.gl/photos/JvYiiHHW62Gv5dSs8
other great ideas for fast breakfast are hardboiled egg and an apple or banana, PB and fresh fruit, PBJ sandwich and milk or alternative.....cold pizza and other leftovers!!!
Visit http://www.eatright.org/resources/national-nutrition-month. Locally, I celebrated it at Hartnell College and the Week of Love March 6-9 with a Breakfast presentation at 8am on the 9th. Breaking the Fast is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. We would never think of driving off in the morning without putting gas in our cars yet day after day students, parents, teachers and too many others are out the door without even a cup of coffee? ITo arrive at my office I have to weave around the line of drivers blocking the driveway to the shopping center at Starbucks --Scarey! because I assume they may still be asleep! My morning ritual starts with brewing a gourmet cup of coffee in my french press, taking a moment to check my email and think about my day then breakfast, getting dressed and out the door. Yes, it takes getting up 1-2 hours before I leave the house but for me it is worth it. When I don't do it I forget stuff.
The recipes for the events I did on March 9th and March 14th will be in a separate blog posts because I want to be able to fit them into their categories along with slide shows on how to prepare them. (sorry---I have a backlog of how to recipes to post) They are super easy with lots of variations. One of course is oatmeal done many ways and the other is silken chocolate pie. For now remember that those leftovers from dinner or you last take out are a perfect breaking the fast meal, get over that breakfast has to be breakfast items. I think eggs and toast or cereal and milk became breakfast because they are fast, simple have protein, fat and carbohydrates. Left over pizza and a glass of milk is a favorite of many teens it also gives them a reason not to eat the whole thing at once the night before. We didn't have leftovers until our son left home, he was the leftover king, he did not like eggs and was luke warm on cereal. Did you know in many countries folks eat 2 breakfasts and in Germany they even call it early breakfast and second breakfast. The Italians and French also start their days with an espresso and croissant or baguette and cheese. Slow down, cut your day down, when you leave your job no one remember how much you worked they may even hire two people to replace you! Now for students, it is more about time management and today's students have so many time eating activities such as social media, that is the diet we should be talking about!
Be nice to yourself! I have been know after a large heavy meal at night to opt for a soy latte and an apple or banana as my breakfast any faster it can't be. Maybe, PBJ or PB and banana--I like mine toasted! post your ideas....
Giant! ooops! The title on my last blog post is wrong! This is it not Bread.....all year long! I will try to fix but in the mean time go to Dec 5 and you will see a great recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh, Buen Provecho, Elsa
Tis' the season to eat too many rich and sweet foods. Need a palate cleanser here it is! Quinoa Salad made in the Tabbouleh style. If you already have a favorite recipe just substitute the equivalent amount of cooked quinoa. Quinoa depending on how much you eat will have from 3-6 grams of protein add some legumes (dried beans or peas) and presto a complete protein and a meal in less than a cup and under 250 calores (unless you pour on the oils!)
1 cup quinoa 1.5 lbs
2 cup boiling chicken broth
1 ea lemon juice half large lemon or whole lime
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce optional
1 tsp worcestershire sauce Japenese Bull Dog Best Choice
½ tsp sesame oil
2 clove minced garlic
1 cup finely chopped fresh mint to taste
1 cup chopped parsley fresh
2 tsp zatar * see note
1 ea chopped carrot fresh
½ cup finelt diced pepper sweet, spicey you pick
½ cup finely chopped red onion
2 ea chopped green onion
½ tsp salt omit if using salted broth
2 cup diced fresh diced tomatoes well drained
1. Bring chicken (or beef, vegetable) broth to a boil; add quinoa; reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes (likke rice, fluff half ways through with a fork). I let it cool in a large stainless bowl for 10-20 minutes; fluff again.
2. Combine all the liquids in a measuring cup, then add the spices and all the vegetalbes except the tomatoes.
3. Add tomatoes and toss lightly. Adjust spices to taste and chill. Serve on lettuce leaf, grape leaf, or cabbage leaf.
* 1. Zatar is a Middle Easter Spice mixture that generally contains, oregano, thyme, savory, sumac and roasted sesame seeds. I look for the mixture without salt or combine the spices myself. Sumac. is the crushed dried fruit of the Rhus Carrara schrub it is also called sicilian sumac, tanner's sumach or elm-leved sumach. It is high in tannins and can cause allergies in sensitive people. It adds the tart taste to this spice blend. It is not in all the blends available in small ethnic grocery stores. I find it in East Indian, Pakistani, Armenian and other markets. My childhood neighbor, Mrs. Hallow introduced me to both spices (an yogurt), many years later, I finally learned what it was called in Palo Alto, CA. The chef actually sent me home with some sumac because I got so excited!
2. All vegetables could be used, it is just important that they are fresh and chopped finely. I like putting broccoli and cauliflower in it, also drained beans and vola! a very complete protein. quinoa has more protein than bulgar and a much finer texture when cooked.
3. Do not freeze. It does keep well refrigerated. What I do is mix it in a large bowl, leave all the ingredients in that bowl for about 4-24 hours then portion it out in to 6 oz and 8 oz deli containers. I take it often as a meal or snack with some yogurt, mmmm! good!.
I am sure you have heard that it is not safe to cook your stuffing in the turkey. I always made both and I will confess to sometime living dangerously and stuffing my turkey but I like stuffing so much, I always made enough to fill two, 9"x 13" casseroles. If you are going to stuff the bird safely you must put the dressing in hot, but it isn't a good idea if you want moist cooked just right turkey and dressing at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. the stuffing actually acts as an insulator and does not easily get hot. This year I am making my dressing after Thanksgiving, hopefully with leftovers, because we are sharing the day with friends. This recipe also was devekoped over many years and was also inspired by my time with the American Heart Association. what this recipe's strong point is including fruits and vegitables into the meal. I like the crunch from the apples, celery and nuts.
HOLIDAY FRUIT STUFFING
2/3 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
¼ cup parsley, chopped
2 cups apple, finely diced
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup raisins
10 cups bread, cut in cubes (a loaf)
½ tsp sage
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pepper
1-2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp butter melted
Put all the dry ingredients in a baking pan sprayed with “Pam” or a small amount of oil. Then add broth and margarine and stir to moisten
Bake at 350°F for one hour.
The three top items in my holiday menu are cranberries, yams and dressing. The turkey is there because without it, there would be no gravy and it sure tastes good on the dressing. I grew up cutting out shapes in cold jellied cranberry, We never ate whole cranberries or sauce. I did make cranberry bread. Then my husband introduced me to homemade cranberry sauce. Over the years because I can't leave well enough alone and inspiration during my stint as a spokesperson for the American Heart Association's Holiday Recipes. I worked on the recipe to reduce the sugar by adding naturally sweet items such as raisins, apples and orange rind. Below is my halved sugar recipe. To totally delete the sugar I use powdered pectin to form the gel instead of the sugar syrup. I also have a much higher percentage of cranberries in the recipe. I make a double or triple batch and freeze it to eat with pork, chicken and turkey all year long. Or, to make my own cranberry yogurt at breakfast with granola.
1 bag cranberries, cleaned
1 sticks cinnamon (hard) don’t use powder it makes it dark and cloudy)
4 whole cloves (use 8 and put in a tea ball…very important for children and
folks that could choke.
1 orange, peeled and chopped –remove white membranes
1 tsp orange zest
1 apple (remove seeds and cut in small pieces)
1 cup sugar (see sugar free version below)
1 cup water
Put all the ingredients in a heavy lidded saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Use a lid since the cranberries will pop.
Use for Sugar free (reminder this is not CHO free and it is high in fiber due to the pectin-sure jell)
1 cup apple juice concentrate (do not dilute)
1 pkg of sure jell (found in the canning section of grocery stores or baking section) the powder that lists low sugar version –the other works too but this is better.
Combine the sure jell with 1 tbs of granulated sugar (to omit this use liquid sure gel) Stir well into all the ingredients above including the water and bring to a boil (slowly) cook for about 3-5 minutes, set aside and it will set. To make a cranberry non chunky sauce take the warm mixture and puree in a blender or food processor. It will gel or set when cool don’t add anything to make it thicker.
This can be made several days ahead and will keep the 7 days in refrigerator.
Thanksgiving Shopping and Prepping
I love the holidays, I like feeding people but I also want to be pampered and taken care of.....a conundrum for sure! Going on strike many years ago solved some of it for a while. I have always wanted to go to San Francisco for Thanksgiving and we almost did it. Then Alexis,the eating out kid, put the stop to it. My solution was okay you love eating at home so much, you guys cook Thanksgiving. I made the rolls and pie and spent the day sewing! What we all learned is that I did the meal by feel and my two at home geeks at the time were horrified! I have a lot to thank them for, first the research that they did and which is now part of my holiday recipe files. The most amazing part of that dinner was it was ready at noon, we actually ate lunch on time! Today, Jerry and I are empty nesters, so some Thanksgivings we actually have smoked the turkey and eaten outside picnic style! or we get together with other folks that are also minus extended family but love to cook and hang out. I am not into the big community events, I worry a little bit about food safety and too many people. In this installmnet I am sharing the planning pieces, process, timing, shopping, etc.
1-have a discussion about what is important on Thanksgiving, is it the food, the game, the parade, old favorites, tradition or novelty? We once ate a peking duck and I don't remember the sides. It was take out! That day was all about my first Macy's Day Parade. Jerry and I have pared down our Thanksgiving choices and we started with tradition that evolved to a very personal version of Thanksgiving at Casa Brisson.
2. Spend several days planning the menu. The actual writing it out is fast but the mulling over it and thinking about it is important. An important menu planning tip is to visualize your plate and table setting. 3- 4 items on the plate, plus bread, plus dessert is generally enough. Trying to make too many items can make your crazy and most of us don't have a commercial kitchen. The center of the traditional plate is generally beige so the other 1-2 items need to pop with color, Green, Red or Orange come to mind quickly. So if I serve, Turkey, Stuffing, Green beans (or Broccoli or Brussels Sprouts), Cranberries and Sweet Potato/Yam, I already have 5 then I add rolls and pie. Done! 7 items to prepare.
3. More planning, now come the recipes, shopping lists and prepping. I started buying fresh turkeys so I would not have to thaw them, Yes, they are more expensive but are so tasty and the texture, Mmmmm! Cranberry sauce can be made as soon as the first cranberries are on the shelves, they can be frozen or just put in a tightly sealed container in the back of the refrigerator. A cooked cranberry sauce is a chutney and they have enough sugar and acid that they stay very well. I actually make a lot of sauce and freeze it so I can have it all year with poultry and pork. I love my cranberry sauce. Warning, it is tart and nothing like canned. Order the turkey in October by November the pickings may be slim. If you do buy a frozen turkey read the label and follow the thawing instructions and it is not a bad idea to add an extra half to whole day in the refrigerator. A week is not unrealistic, also be sure to put a pan that is 1-2 inches bigger around than the bird. Be sure it is at the bottom of the refrigerator so that nothing can be contaminated by drippings that could get out of the packaging. Turkey is a big food safety concern. Everything else is day of Thanksgiving. I try to have all the other perishable shopping done by Monday or when your store stocks it's vegetables.
I hope this note got you thinking about Thanksgiving planning so on the day you can enjoy your friends and family, Buen Provecho, Elsa
This dish is our chicken or tomato soup---you eat it when you are sick, depressed, cold, happy It is very simple. It can be eaten with leftovers, or quesadillas, as a first dish, as a main dish. I like lots of lemon in it when I am eating.
Elsa has been fascinated about all things food from a very young age. Her life's work has been to preserve family food customs and to encourage others to interview family before it is too late. Her early training in nutrition has inspired her recipe adaptations. The slides on this blog are from her trip to the Amalfi coast Spring of 2015.