Mar 1, 2011

my favorite things--food edition

I like food.  I like eating, and I like feeding other people (I get this from my mama).  There is something about giving someone a meal that equates to loving him in my mind, and when you know the meal is tasty and healthy, it's like you've given a special someone an enormous hug.  The kind with a few pats on the back.

If you've been reading for a little while, you probably already know that I like organic food.  I read a book and never looked back.  We eat a lot of produce, beans (mostly dried), quinoa, rice, and oatmeal with a little meat and fish tossed in.    We also cheat every now and then.  I love Chic-Fil-A too much to say good-bye forever, and I haven't kicked my Diet Dr. Pepper habit yet.   But I intend to...

We also avoid processed food.  That means that we don't have cereal, chips, cookies, and other junk in the house unless I made them myself.  We cheat a little here too; I don't make tortilla chips every time we have chips and salsa, and we love Triscuits and a little sharp cheddar for a snack, but overall, I try to keep our diet full of whole foods.  I switched from nondairy creamer (what is that anyway??) and sweet & low (cancer in a pink envelope) to whole milk and real sugar in my coffee, and I know I am healthier for it.

Ultimately, I want to help Cara establish good eating habits early, and I want to be around for a good long while to watch her grow up.  I firmly believe that running in the opposite direction of the "meat and potatoes" American diet is one way I can treat my body as a temple and hopefully, see Cara as an old lady.

So here are a few of my favorite food-related things:

1) Quinoa:  We can't get enough of this stuff lately.  I've posted other quinoa recipes here and here, but this is one of our staples.  I swear we eat this at least once a week in some way.

Heat a generous amount of olive oil over medium high heat and add chopped onion and garlic.  Saute until translucent and add one big can of diced tomatoes (or a good handful of fresh tomatoes in the summer!) and a sprinkle of red pepper flake, stir, and cook together for a few minutes.  Add a generous handful of chopped basil and serve over quinoa.

I add chickpeas, chicken, or whatever veggies are in the fridge to this recipe, and it's always comforting and delicious, especially for lunch the next day.

2)  Raspberry Green Tea:  I realized recently that I was edging up on five or six cups of coffee every day, and that is a little extreme.  For me, I think having something warm to drink at work in the morning is more of a habit than an addiction (although I acknowledge the ridiculous headache I get if I skip coffee entirely), so I decided to try to switch to green tea.  My friend gave me a box of raspberry green tea, and I am now a convert.  With a teaspoon or so of honey, it is just heavenly.  That's not to say that I am giving up my coffe entirely...just at work.

3)  My favorite places to look for new recipes are Dinner:  A Love Story and  The New York Times Recipes for Health.  I have loved almost everything I have tried from these two sources, and both generally stick to whole foods as ingredients.  I really like that the Recipes for Health are organized by ingredient--makes menu planning and grocery shopping so much easier!

What are your favorite food things?


  1. Let me just say that what you just described with the quinoa is what the Phillips will be eating tonight! :)
    We keep quinoa on hand and I bought chicken and tomatoes and basil thinking I would do some sort of re-inactment of the supper you brought us this week, but I think instead of running out to grab some mascarpone, I will just make this! Yum! Thanks!

  2. You should probably haul your little family to RVA and make this little dish up for us:) I tried making quinoa once before and it did NOT go over well. I'm pretty sure I was missing out on something. For now, at least, we throw a Tbs. or so in our bread machine when we make a whole grain loaf. I'd love to get more uses out of it than bread though!

  3. Thanks for sharing your recipe sources! I've been thinking a lot about cleaning up our diet too, but sometimes it just seems overwhelming. Good for you for putting your family's health first!!

  4. My eating has improved in the past year because Jake plants mixed greens in our garden. This results in us always having salad on hand. I eat about 5-7 salads a week now whereas I may have eaten one before. We also make our own salad dressing - either just oil and balsamic vinegar or we make a dressing with oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and mustard.

    Oatmeal is my favorite food! I also love apples and all natural PB, homemade breads (made by others besides me!), dark chocolate, and orange juice. Some of our staple meals are making homemade pizza (see our blog for recipe for cornmeal crust), "salsa", vegetable curries and pastas, and we do like a good burger! Love to think/talk about food!

  5. @Courtney: We could talk for DAYS about food. I'm right there with you. I love that you have mixed greens in your garden. I swear that this is the year that I will start my vegetable garden. I feel a little overwhelmed by the planning and implementing, but I've got to start somewhere. What veggies did you guys start with? And where did you put your garden?

  6. I would really like to do a better job of cutting out processed/premade foods. I always choose sugar over the fake stuff. But I can only imagine what other chemicals I'm taking in.

  7. Yummy, thanks for sharing! I also read Omnivore's Dilemma. Between that and Food, Inc., I have an impossible time buying anything NOT organic, but I also cringe when I pay double the price. Eek!

    I also LOVE quinoa! My only yummy and healthy tip is to replace butter in your baking recipes with coconut oil. It adds a great flavor to things like brownies and has no cholesterol. You can also use it as a natural moisturizer and it helps heal dry skin in little kiddos. Do you ever check out the recipes on Heavenly Homemakers? She has SO many recipes and they're great! Things like whole wheat brownies and chocolate chip cookies, etc.


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