Friday, November 30, 2007

A Menu For Hope - Call For Prizes

What is A Menu for Hope?
Unless you're very new to the world of food blogs, you've likely heard of A Menu for Hope, the brilliant idea of Pim to unite food bloggers the world over in raising money for a good cause. Last year, due to a lot of generosity on the part of food bloggers and food blog readers, we raised $62,925.12 to support the UN World Food Program. This year our goal is to raise even more, and funds from the 2007 campaign will be earmarked for a school food program in Lesotho, a tiny country entirely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa, where one out of twelve kids die before the age of five and 56% of the population live on less than $2 per day.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Asian Cabbage Salad Recipe with Sesame Seeds and Peanuts

Asian Cabbage SaladI'm a huge fan of salads with cabbage. While I do like cooked cabbage well enough, there's something about the crunch and slightly-sweet flavor of raw cabbage that makes my mouth feel happy. This particular cabbage got started when I saw a recipe pairing cabbage with rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Of course, I had to add my own twist, so I added a bit more kick to the dressing and a few peanuts, and I loved the result.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Fini Balsamic Vinegar

Fini Balsamic VinegarI was surprised recently when I realized I'd never featured Fini Balsamic Vinegar for Kalyn's Kitchen Picks, because I've been using it as long as I can remember, and it's been listed on my ingredient sources for ages. I can vividly remember the first time I bought this at Williams-Sonoma, back in the days when every Italian restaurant in the United States was apparently required to offer bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. In those days I had no idea that there were different grades of balsamic vinegar, or that this brand was actually a condiment, not an authentic tradizionale balsamico. Now I know, and I don't really care, I still love the taste of this vinegar. (More proof that I'm not a food snob, in case you needed it! And if anyone is wondering, Fini has never given me any vinegar and is not paying me anything for writing about their vinegar.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Spinach Salad Recipe with Marinated Garbanzo Beans and Feta Cheese

Spinach Salad with Garbanzos and FetaWhenever I have a day or two when I've been overindulging on food (like Thanksgiving!) my body will soon start craving some type of salad to get back in balance. Whether that was the reason, or whether it was just that I had leftover spinach from the Thanksgiving Spinach Salad I made at my sister's house, who knows, but I made this salad over the weekend and it really was just what I wanted to eat. I got the idea for combining spinach, chickpeas, and feta cheese from a recipe I saw in The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook. Then I remembered the idea of marinating the garbanzo beans to bump up the flavor a little, which really made this salad great.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Brown Rice Salad with Leftover Turkey (or chicken), Red Cabbage, and Pecans

Brown Rice Salad with Leftover TurkeyOh, the interesting life of a food blogger. It's not even quite Thanksgiving, but all too soon the big day will be here, and immediately after that everyone will start searching for recipes to use leftover turkey. My local store had turkeys on sale, so I bought one and cooked it over the weekend to guarantee early "leftovers" so I could try some new recipes. Of course, there's always many kinds of turkey soup at Thanksgiving time, but I thought a salad that used leftover turkey might be nice for a change.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

South Beach Diet Friendly Stuffing with Whole Wheat Bread and Mushrooms

South Beach Diet Friendly Whole Wheat and Mushroom StuffingHere's another addition to my Thanksgiving Recipes, and it was really delicious.  For Thanksgiving I'll be going to my sister's Val's house (mother of the cute kids) and although she's not a South Beach dieter, she does eat mostly whole grains and low-sugar foods. In our family we call it stuffing even when it's not cooked inside the turkey, and last year for Thanksgiving, we tried the recipe for Whole Wheat Stuffing with Sage, Italian Sausage, and Pears from the South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook. That's a delicious recipe if you like the idea of stuffing with sausage and pears, but this year I thought it would be fun to try taking a more traditional stuffing recipe and making it South Beach Diet friendly. The recipe that inspired this one was from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining (yes, I'm a bit of a sucker for those holiday cookbooks!)

Recipe Favorites: Mary's Perfect Salad Dressing for Spring Salad Mix

Perfect Salad with Spring Lettuce Mix(Updated November 2007)  This is a recipe that was originally posted so long ago the photo is from my old camera, before I got a digital SLR, but don't let that stop you from trying this perfect salad. This is something I eat so often, and enjoy so much that I decided it was time for it to officially be added to Recipe Favorites.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sauteed Broccoli Recipe with Garlic, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan

Sauteed Broccoli with Garlic, Pine Nuts, and ParmesanMy SEP conferences are thankfully over, and although I haven't actually cooked anything all week, I thought this recipe that I made a few months ago would make a nice addition to the Thanksgiving Recipes I'm sharing for people who'd like to create a bit more South Beach friendly Thanksgiving dinner. (It's less than a week away, so hope you've at least started to plan if you're celebrating!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Roasted Tomato Soup with Ground Beef, Sausage, Garbanzos, Macaroni, and Basil

Roasted Tomato and Italian Sausage SoupI've been having fun trying Thanksgiving Recipes, and there may be more to come, including a new version of South Beach Diet Friendly Stuffing I have my eye on, if I can get it done. First though, I thought I better do my post for Weekend Herb Blogging, since I don't know how much cooking or blogging I'll be doing this week. Today I'll be starting three days of SEP (Student Education Plan) conferences. These three days represent the yin and yang of teaching perfectly. On the one hand, it's kind of fun to meet individually with each student and their parents. You can actually connect with the students and impact them in that setting. On the other hand, having 28 conferences over three days is grueling, not to mention feeling like you need to have a handle on the individual needs of 28 different kids. I'll be spending close to 12 hours a day at school for the next three days, so blogging may be on the back burner.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lentil and Sausage Soup Recipe with Sweet Potatoes and Herbs

Lentil and Sausage Soup with Sweet PotatoesI've been focusing on Thanksgiving lately, and when I started testing Thanksgiving Recipes, I had no idea that it would be mainly different types of roasted vegetables that would really get my attention this year. I think it's safe to say I love roasted vegetables, pretty much no matter what vegetable you pick. There are a couple more delicious roasted vegetable options for Thanksgiving coming up, but I decided I better take a break from Thanksgiving food and post something else, just so people don't wonder if I'm living solely on vegetables around here!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Roasted Carrots Recipe with Moroccan Spice Mix

I guess serious food lovers all over the U.S. are on a countdown to Thanksgiving, with less than two weeks until the big turkey day. I've been having fun again this year trying out new Thanksgiving Recipes to replace traditional things like candied sweet potatoes and potatoes and gravy. Whether it's due to luck or hours spend looking at Thanksgiving issues of my favorite food magazines, I'm not sure, but I've had some wonderful finds. I already shared how I loved the Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices from Fine Cooking Magazine, and promised I'd be trying other vegetables Fine Cooking suggested for this spice mix. These carrots were the second one I tried (more to come!) and a complete winner.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Garlic-Roasted Green Beans Recipe with Shallots and Almonds (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo)

Garlic-Roasted Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds found on
These roasted green beans can go in the oven when you take out the turkey!

Before too many more Thanksgiving Recipes get posted around here, you'll be catching on to the idea that I think roasted vegetables are great for Thanksgiving. Here's my thinking, the oven is already hot and when you take the turkey out to carve it and make the gravy, you have just enough oven time to cook the rolls and roast some kind of delicious veggie at the same time. Most roast vegetables are very forgiving as far as cooking time and temperature, so no need to fuss, and roasting concentrates the flavor of vegetables in a way that no other cooking method can match. So if you happen to check my collection of Thanksgiving Recipes, you'll find lots of roasted vegetables.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging: No Tricks but a Lot of Treats This Week

Here we are in November, and in year three of blogging about herbs, plants, veggies, and flowers. I think it's a good thing I was smart enough to realize two years ago (when I created Weekend Herb Blogging by accident) that you can't very easily write about fresh herbs year round if you're living in Utah, because most of my herbs are in full hibernation mode around here right now. In other parts of the world though, spring is coming, and it's always fun to hear about it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Thanksgiving Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese

Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat CheeseYes, I'm on a quest for low-glycemic Thanksgiving Recipes around here, and it's slightly ironic that after I spent a couple of hours looking through past November issues of my favorite food magazines earlier today, I marched into the kitchen and came up with this salad without a recipe except the one I made up in my head. I had spinach in the fridge that needed to be used, and last night I did my Friday night Costco thing and picked up dried cranberries and sliced almonds, just because they seemed like Thanksgiving necessities, and the recipe to combine those ingredients with creamy goat cheese just came together like it was meant to be. This is a simple recipe anyone could make, and I ate the entire salad while I was waiting for the photos to download from the camera, so that's the sign of a good recipe!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Low-Glycemic Holiday Recipes for a South Beach Diet Friendly Thanksgiving 2007

Double Berry Jello SaladDouble Berry Jello Salad was great last Thanksgiving!

(If you're looking for the most updated collections of healthy holiday recipes, see my post with 25+ Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Holiday Side Dishes, Appetizers, and Salads or check out the whole index page of  Carb-Conscious Thanksgiving Recipes.

We're now entering the time of year when healthy eating can get a bit more challenging. Last year I had a lot of fun sharing recipes and ideas for Thanksgiving Recipes that were lower on the glycemic index than normal holiday fare, while still being the kind of over-the-top delicious you want for a holiday meal. Of course, the low-glycemic South Beach way of eating is also perfect for anyone with diabetes, or anyone who's trying to eat more complex carbs and avoid saturated fat, even if you're not trying to lose weight.

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