One of my first blog posts was about making kale chips, way back in February 2009! I love looking back at old posts. I didn't even post photos!
Here's an updated, more mature post about kale chips; after all, kale chips deserve multiple posts!
I tossed the kale with EVOO and sea salt and baked these kale bits for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, keeping an eye on them the whole time to prevent burning. They make a great side dish!
Question of the Day: How do you eat more kale? (Don't you WANT that t-shirt?)
Apple picking is probably one of my favorite autumn past times. After all, it runs in my blood. Being from Johnny Appleseed's hometown, how could I not love this weekend activity? Here are some tips on making the most of picking apples.
How to Maximize Your Apple-Picking Experience
- Grab a few of your friends and head to an apple orchard (bonus if it also is a winery and has wine tastings).
- Go early in the apple picking season. Otherwise, trees will be bare.
- Instead of ripping them off the trees, grasp an apple and twist until it detaches from the branch. This helps preserve the integrity of next year's crop.
- Have a picnic with your apple-solutely wonderful friends.
- Enjoy a perfect day sitting in the shade, enjoying local apples, local wine, and a homemade potluck picnic.
- Eat an apple a day from now until Thanksgiving, provided you bought an entire peck.
Lazy Lady's Indian-Infused Potato Potluck Salad
1 lb potatoes, cleaned, cubed, boiled
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
juice from 1-2 lemons
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 Tbsp roasted cumin
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
S & P tt
Mix cilantro, EVOO, lemon juice, raisins, and spices together. Pour over cooled boiled potatoes and mix in well. Serve cold.
Question of the Day: What's your favorite apple? Cortlands, MacIntosh, Delicious, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Gala, Mutzu, Braeburns?
Today I completed my final long-ish run for my upcoming marathon! On the way to meet my running buddy, I was lovingly greeted by morning.
Running update: An 18.25-miler in the warmth that this morning brought was HARD. I breezed through a long 22-miler last weekend, and struggled to even get to 18 today. Luckily I already have my other long runs under my belt so this wasn't a huge game-changer. I've officially passed the cumulative 300 mile mark for this summer/fall's round of training, and have logged about 750 total miles since the beginning of 2010. Yikes! Think I can get to 1,000 before the year ends?
Thomas' Bagel Thins Giveaway Winner: I loved all your ideas regarding how you'd top your bagel thins. Thanks for getting creative! And the winner, according to a random draw is Rachel of Coconut Crumbs! Rachel, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org w/ your address and I'll get that brand spankin' new toaster to you!
Question of the Day: Ever amazed by what your body can do? If so, what can it do? (Keep it clean, folks.)
Last weekend after the Maple Leaf Half Marathon, Elizabeth and I traveled to the UMass Farms in South Deerfield for a Heritage Grain experimental research planting.
Elizabeth and I planted a mix of different types of heritage grains, while others planted only one type. I was thrilled to be part of this project, as local wheat for local bread would be an excellent local product that could be produced and sold in the Great Commonwealth, along with the amazing CSAs and farmers market that provide us all with such great produce, honey, and maple syrup.
Supporting local products is obviously my schtick, but as an RD, I also am an advocate for healthy whole grains. While this heritage grain project gets started, I'd like to offer you a whole grain alternative!
Last week, I was contacted by Thomas' to try one of their new products called 100% Whole Wheat Bagel Thins. At only 110 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and no added high fructose corn syrup per bagel, it is a great palette for some almond butter, homemade jam, or topped with slices of delicious apples that are ripe for the pickin' right now! (Pick them here!)
The awesome folks at Thomas' Bagels are offering A Fete for Food readers a great perk... a brand-spankin' new Black & Decker toaster for all of your bagel-toasting needs!
How can you win this, you ask?
- Leave a comment on this post telling everyone how you would top your Bagel Thins for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Are you a cream cheese and jam or a lox type of person? What's your craziest bagel creation?
- Tweet about this giveaway. Copy and paste this in your twitter feed: "A Hot Giveaway: Thomas' Bagels and a Black&Decker Toaster from @eatittweetit http://bit.ly/czCR3h" and then leave a comment that you did so.
- I'll pick a winner on Sunday, September 26th!
Disclaimer: I was not paid by this company but did receive complimentary product for sampling.
Bitter melon. It's like chewing on an aspirin that was meant to be swallowed whole.
Being an advocate for all wholesome, locally-grown plant-based edibles, I was sincerely shocked to find that bitter melon is one vile vegetable.
So the story goes: I picked this quartet up at the farmers market today, from the same vendor who sold me the amaranth last week. I gave up my last two dollars from my wallet and trotted away with a bunch of cilantro and a new, unique looking vegetable to experiment with. The Amaranth Experiment last week went fine; how could cooking with bitter melon be bad?
Bitter melon is a member of the gourd family and is very popular in Chinese cuisine and herbal medicine. In fact, there is a whole website dedicated to debunking the bad rap that bitter melon has received. Their slogan is "better living through bitter melon."
I certainly find pleasure in the bitter flavor; I love a chunk of dark chocolate, a good cup of black coffee, soda water and even the occasional beer or wine. But this? This bitter melon is on another level of bitter. Wicked witch of the West bitter.
I tried it raw. I salted it and rinsed it. I tried it boiled in vegetable broth, all to no avail. Even the cat stayed out of the kitchen while I grappled with this green enigma.
"Bitter Melon Soup" (if you could call it that)
I'm probably committing heresy by advertising that I am adverse to a vegetable (being a dietitian and all) but bitter melon, on first try, has ousted raw celery as the Number One Most Hated Vegetable in my book. I allow myself and every client/patient/participant/family/friend one vegetable that is allowable as one to avoid, but you have to at least try/eat the rest!
In consolation, I'm willing to try this vegetable again if I'm able to remove some of the bitterness. I tried salting and rinsing, boiling in vegetable broth and still nothing.
Most bloggers post on their culinary successes. This, my friends, is a cruciferous catastrophe.
Question of the Day: Have you ever eaten bitter melon? Can you help me find a way to eat it? Do you have an all-time (only one, please!) hated vegetable?
We had a fabulous time, and everyone ran so very well this year! PRs were set by Elizabeth and myself, at 1:45 and 1:54 respectively. Check out last year's recap here!
The pre-race runners-only Friday night dinner menu special at The Perfect Wife Restaurant looked something like this:
The howling wolf curry dish
And one mean homemade apple crisp
The pre-race routine was perfect, especially when waking up to this:
My pre-race breakfasts always consist of some fruit, toast with peanut or almond butter, and coffee.
The race started at 9:00 a.m. and we were all done by 11 a.m.! We feasted on the post-race goodies of watermelon, bananas, and fresh bread and did some stretching while our Vermont host and 5K runner won a bunch of awards. Go boog!
The Vermont Maple Leaf Half Marathon is a great half marathon course, and the weather we had was perfect. I highly recommend it to anyone looking to do a half at some point. Join me in 2011!
Other Vermont photography:
Question of the Day: How was your Saturday? Have you run a half marathon? How did it go?
Until last week's farmers' market, I only thought of amaranth as a grain, one similar to something like couscous or bulgur. Little did I know you could eat amaranth greens! I bought them from the farmer who sells his produce, grown from the Bolton Flats Hmong Farm, a New Entry Sustainable Farming Project supported by Tufts University. New Entry is actually an awesome and amazing program. Check it out.
Amaranth greens, also known as Chinese spinach are rightfully named. This leafy green vegetable cooks up like spinach, but the flavor, I would say, is much better. It imparts an earthy, somewhat spicy flavor when cooked or stir-fried up like you would spinach. One cup of cooked provides 75% of your daily need for vitamin A, 90% vitamin C, 20% iron, and 25% calcium.
We just cleaned, chopped, and tossed with some onion, pepper, and olive oil for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat.
In other news, this weekend I finally got a chance to hike Mount Wachusett with some friends.
Question(s) of the Day: What'd you do this past weekend? Have you seen amaranth greens before at your local market?
Remember these? (source)For 1/15 of the roll, you get 160 calories full of milk, water, sugar, corn syrup, and cream. In that order. The only place watermelon shows up on the ingredient list is as watermelon juice concentrate. How sad. And may I take a moment to interrupt this post to tell you that Friendly's is also responsible for the grilled cheese burger melt.
For 1500 calories, 97 grams of fat (that's equivalent to 8 tablespoons of lard) and 2090 milligrams of sodium, you can satisfy your craving for that tub of Crisco and packets of salt that you just haven't been able to shake. Apparently Friendly's missed the memo on moderation.
Before I break the keys on my computer, I'm moving on to some healthier alternatives and the reason I am writing this post - back to the Wattamelon Roll. Like it? Well, here's an alternative that actually contains some real food ingredients you may want to eat. Because we've had a warmer than normal summer in New England, watermelons have been in excess! I've gotten one each week for the last 3 or 4 weeks in my CSA, and I have been struggling to keep up. But with this recipe, I'm sure I'll use them up. I also cut up the part I didn't think I'd use into chunks and froze. These pieces will be great for a smoothie in the future.
1/2 seedless mini watermelon (local!)
4 oz plain yogurt (I used Chobani Greek yogurt)
6-8 oz low-fat milk or soymilk
4-6 ice cubes
1-2 oz lemon juice or lemonade
Blend all of this goodness together. Stick a straw in it and enjoy on a hot night after a hot run.
It was sort of my "watermelon-ized" version of mango lassi. I'm putting the remainder of it in the freezer in ice cream cups and planning on eating it like frozen yogurt.
I enjoyed it with some lentils, sauteed vegetables, and corn tortillas.
Marathon Training Update
You may or may not know, but I'm training for the San Francisco Nike Womens' Marathon, happening on October 17. I ran Boston this year and loved it. Training for this has been completely different, as training during winter in New England is much different than summer training.
This is what 17 miles looks like.
My long run is up to 19 miles, I'm increasing sprints up to 7x100's, and pace ran a 6-miler today!
This is what a 6-mile pace run looks like:
Please don't judge me based on how I take care of basil plants (in the background). I swear I watered them as soon as I saw this sorry-looking photo.
Speaking of races, next weekend is the Vermont Maple Leaf Half Marathon, a race I KILLED last year, and I'm concerned that I'll never see that record time again. We'll see.
Is anyone else running this race in Vermont? It's a really fun race and the food afterward is amazing. This year, they have their Green Festival immediately following the race, and, as always, Manchester Center has some fun shopping. It's probably one of my favorite weekends of the year! There are still numbers left!
Question of the Day: Any tips as I enter the last 6 weeks or so of training? And what do you think of the grilled cheese burger melt? I guess if I ate that and then ran the half marathon, I might just burn off those calories.