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Monday, August 5, 2013

Fresh Garlic...





If you have never tasted fresh garlic, then I highly recommened that you find a local farmer's market or farm stand and go ahead and buy some!

We all love the taste of garlic, especially me, I think I put a touch of garlic in everything that I cook. Whether I am using store bought garlic, prepared garlic in the jar, or garlic powder, I love it all. Last year in my farm share, when I got a bulb of fresh garlic I was hooked. I became a snob to all other garlic, very similar to my new found love of high definition TV.

The cool thing about fresh garlic is that the entire bulb is edible. You know how when you buy garlic at the store you have to peel off the paper-like outer layer, well this doesn't have that. This is completely soft, and ready to eat.

Naturally this year, I bulk ordered fresh garlic. 10 cloves came my ways, and it's been so yummy! The first night, hubby and I just roasted it and ate it with homemade focaccia bread, and since then we are enjoying it in salad dressings, dips, soups, sautés, just nothing like it!

Roasted Garlic
1 whole clove of fresh garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat your oven to 400*F. With a sharp knife, slice the top of the garlic clove off (about 1/2 inch) exposing the innter garlic cloves. Place garlic clove on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the foil around the garlic and place on a baking sheet, bake for 30-35 minutes, until garlic is roasted and ready to spread on your favorite bread or cracker. 

Yum!




Friday, June 28, 2013

Jugo

On Fridays, I work in Boston, The Prudential Center location of my organization. Seeing that never in my life have I taken public transportation to commute to work, I was very proud of myself last week when I made the trip in and home in one piece, and on the right train!

I can't help but feel a little bit "cooler" when I get on the train and ride into the city with my Tory Burch tote in hand. Especially when I get off at the Back Bay station and the world is so fancy with beautiful people, high end stores, and JUICE!

Last week, I discovered a Food Fashionista treasure. I was walking out of the station and caught wind of an overwhelming scent of fresh fruits and loud Spanish music. When I looked to my right I saw a fruit stand with a sign that said "Jugo". Intrigued, I walked in only to find this tiny/little shop, with a big juicer that takes up most of the space, with tons of fresh fruits and veggies to create amazing combination juices. Of course I had to try one. Their Menu was an array of unusual combinations like cucumber, spinach and ginger, or strawberry banana and carrot.

I chose a smoothie called Pirlo; which was Cucumber, Spinach, Pineapple, Strawberry, Banana and Apple Cider. YUM!!!

I took some pictures (trying my best not to look like a weirdo - so the quality isnt great):



A Must Try!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Brown Rice Risotto Fake out...

As we discussed last post, I am on a detox, aka restricted intake/fine, diet. I don’t like to call it a diet because I don’t feel like I am making to many changes to the food I am eating except for being strict about eliminating dairy products and gluten (bread, pasta, crackers, etc) and making sure my meals are balance with whole grains, veggies, etc, which I kind of always do anyways.

Last night I made a typical dinner for Hubby and I and made a few small, and healthy changes. I surprised myself by making a brown rice dish that tasted just like a yummy, creamy, cheesy risotto, but guess what, it was completely dairy free. The secret ingredient is…white bean puree. It adds a really creamy, almost cheesy like texture to the brown rice, mixed with all the other yummy add ins, delicious!

Creamy Brown Rice Risotto

1-cup short grain brown rice
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2-cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2-cup artichoke hearts, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup **prepared white bean puree (see recipe below)
Fresh herbs to garnish (I used oregano and thyme)

Put brown rice, water and salt in a saucepan, bring to a boil and then put on low. Simmer for 45 minutes. Take off heat and fluff rice with a fork. In a small frying pan, heat oil on medium heat and add onions and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until onions start to brown, add mushroom and artichokes and sauté another 5 minutes. Add white wine and simmer for about 5 minutes, until reduced. Pout brown rice into a large serving bowl; add white bean puree and stir. Add onion mixture and stir until well combine. Serve hot topped with fresh herbs.

**White bean puree:
1 can of canalinni beans, drained and rinsed
1/2-cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor add all ingredients and puree until smooth.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Detox Foods for a Clean start to the Summer.


I am in the process of detoxing. I know, I know...everyone keeps telling me, "YOU DONT NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT!" but a detox diet or I like to say temporary and drastic change in lifestyle is not always necessarily about weight loss, but more so about cleaning your body.

 
Naturally occurring toxins that our found in the foods that we consume on a regular basis can cause fatigue, indigestion or stomach upset, food cravings (which may promote weight gain), reduced mental clarity, and even disturb sleeping patterns.

 
My main reason for me to do this cleanse was because I seemed to always have an upset stomach; I mean nothing unbearable, but it just seemed like all foods, no matter what it was, didn’t settle well. My secondary reason for doing this cleanse was because although I feel that I am a very healthy eater, I do however always crave sweets. Whether it’s chocolate, cookies, a brownie, ice cream, whatever, my body for some reason after a meal was always asking for something else to feel satisfied.

 
With guidance of my wonderful acupuncturist, I chose to take part in the Standard Process 21 Day Purification Program. This 21 day program includes Powdered supplements, capsule supplements as well as diet changes. The Standard process 21 Day Purification Program talks about eliminating animal proteins and a lot of other foods, that myself as a nutritionist and my acupuncturist as a professional decided for me wasn’t the best of ideas, therefore, the major things that I have changed in my diet is to go dairy Free, gluten Free, limit coffee intake, no refines sugars (aka chocolate, other sweets L) and in general continue with a healthy intake of lean meats, high protein grains and legumes, and of course, tons of fruits and vegetables.

 
In the first 7 days of the program you are require to drink 2 shakes every day in which you add the Standard process powdered supplements as well as your choice of fruits, vegetables and fruit juices. Now I love smoothies and honestly make them all the time, so for me, this really wasn’t a big deal to do in the morning and evening about an hour before dinner. The other requirement in the first week is to take 7 SP Cleanse capsules (ingredients include juniper, apple, barley, radish, mushrooms, carrots, sweet potatoes, and some other natural herbs) 3 times per day with a wheat grass pearl 2 times per day and a high quality multivitamin (I am using New Chapter). I guess I can’t really complain about this either.

 
On day 8-21 of the cleanse you continue with drinking your 2 smoothies per day, prepared the same. The difference is you now start taking 5 SP Green Food Capsules (ingredients include Brussels sprouts, kale and alfalfa) 2 times per day, continuing with your multivitamin and wheat grass pearl.

 
This is how I am feeling:

 
Day 1 – 3 of the cleanse - felt yucky and bloated. Was craving “bad” foods like bread, sweets, junk, etc. Met with my acupuncturist on the 3rd day and she told me that this is normal, I told her I NEED CHOCOLATE.

 
Day 4-7 of the cleanse – after day 4, I started feeling much better, no stomach upset, not too much cravings, bought a chocolate bar at Whole Foods and ate a small piece.

 
Day 9 (today) - I am feeling great, I feel like I have more energy, no cravings at all, haven’t touched the rest of that chocolate bar, don’t even really have the appetite for coffee in the morning. Went to a conference today where there was an unlimited supply of cookies and I didn’t even have the urge to eat them. SHOCKING. Went food-shopping Hungry after work today, which is usually dangerous, but I found myself looking for fruits and vegetables, before I was looking for crunchy carb nightmare foods.

 
Anyways, I am only half way thought but honestly its been a breeze, although in the beginning it was difficult to imagine giving up my guilty pleasure, I am really enjoying the challenge and feeling the effects of whole and healthy foods.

 
Sample Day

 
Breakfast: Smoothie – Frozen Pineapple, handful of spinach, orange juice with SP Powers.  1 hard boiled egg

 
Snack: Handful of grapes or other fruit

 
Lunch: Large Salad with Tuna Fish with oil and vinegar

 
Snack: handful of almonds with dried fruits (plums, apricots, cranberries)

 
Snack: Smoothie – Fresh Strawberries, 1 ripe nectarine, orange juice with SP Powders

 
Dinner: Seared Pork Chop with Brown rice and a small side salad

 
   Snack After dinner: small bowl of strawberries with cup of peach white tea (sweetened with agave or stevia)





Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hello!

It's been a while since I last sat and wrote a blog post! I cannot believe how fast these winter months have gone by and hooray, its summer again. So.... here’s what going on in my life:

Today was my last day at my current job. For the past 5 years I have been working as a Nutritionist for a community program for women, babies and kids. My work was primarily with infants and children and I enjoyed every bit of it. It was a bitter sweet goodbye this evening when I cleaned out my desk drawers and packed up my personal belongings, turned in my keys and ID badge, and said goodbye to great friends. I feel that I have grown so much just by being part of the lives of these families and I know I will miss it.

Although it is difficult to make changes, and to close an important chapter of my life, I am thrilled for a new beginning. I am going to be working at another program as an infant feeding specialist and lactation consultant, still working with families, facilitating group education and hopefully some private counseling in my free time. For more info please visit www.mvbreastfeedingsupport.blogspot.com

The most exciting thing is that I have the rest of this week and next week off! Free to do whatever I want. So I plan to be trying out some new recipes to share on the blog, using my grille for the first time this season, and Thursday is the first day of my farm share. As some of you may already know, for the past 2 years I have participated in Community Shared Agriculture. Basically what it is is a membership to a farm where each week you receive fruits and vegetables, locally grown, usually organic or low spray. I have chosen my membership at Red Fire Farm in Granby, MA. They offer pick up locations all over the Boston area.

So just a quick update…stay tuned for more after Thursday’s fruit and veggie pick up! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

End of Farm Season...


So I'm driving to work this morning and I said to myself, "Wow, all the trees are changing colors. Weird." Then I realized ITS OCTOBER! Can you believe how fast this summer/this year has flown by? I cant!
Well with the end of the warm weather comes the end of my amazing farm share from Red Fire Farm. Hubby and I enjoyed so many amazing types of vegetables and fruits this year and most recently have been enjoying fall flavors with root vegetables, different types of squash, potatoes and apples.
Below are some yummy treats I have made with them!

 

Microwaved Potato Chips - thin and crispy just like the bag, with no added fat! Slice potatoes thin, sprinkle with salt, lay flat on a microwave safe plate, microwave for 3 minutes, flip over and microwave another 3 minutes.

 Homemade Cinnamon Spiced Apple Sauce

"The Bean Pizza" - Idea stolen from a pizza place in Belmont. Crunchy crust with a white bean spread, ricotta cheese, thin sliced beef topped with a spinach salad.

Homemade Tomato Sauce


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Banh Mi

So I had the pleasure of recently trying a new food. I am always up for a food challenge and for trying new things so when my sister told me about this new Vietnamese sandwich shop in West Roxbury I just had to try it. When I snooped online to look at the menu it seemed very limited and vague about what exactly they served. It has about 6 different sandwiches, some noodle dishes and drinks, all priced at less than 5 bucks!

My Homemade Version of Beef Teriyaki Banh Mi (Vietnamese Style Sandwich)