Practical, healthful eating and living.

One of My Favorites: Breadsmith Bread February 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beansandyoga @ 8:51 pm
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I am crazy about Breadsmith bread.  Ever since a Breadsmith bakery first moved into my neighborhood, about nine years ago, I’ve shunned all other brands.  This says a lot, because I have to go to a Breadsmith bakery to get it.  I can’t just pick it up at the grocery store.

They have an array of flavors including French Peasant, baguettes, garlic onion bread, and sweet breads.  My favorite, the one I bring home every time, is the honey wheat loaf.  I usually get a beautiful crusty round loaf of sour dough, too.

I’ll have a few slices, fresh, the day I bring it home.  Then into the freezer it goes.  It toasts, perfectly.

It’s not in every state, sorry!  But if you ever see one, don’t hesitate.  It is wonderful, and they always have slices of freshly baked bread to taste if you come in.  Yum.


What I’m Eating Now – Borscht February 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized,What I'm eating now — beansandyoga @ 3:46 pm
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borscht2A fresh coating of snow outside was inspiring in November.  Now, I long for color.  The temp has dropped.  No sign of a thaw in sight.  This is the moment for which I have prepared.  I open my freezer.  I remove a precious container.  Inside is a home-made batch of borscht.

Back in October, when beets, potatoes and dill were in season, I went to the farmers’ market with my annual list.  Based on my grandma’s recipe, which was never really set in stone, I set forth to gather the finest, freshest makings of this fuschia soup.

I make a gigantic batch.  Two of the biggest pots I can find bubble simultaneously on the stove.  I let it cook for hours.  I and my family have a feast, and the rest goes into the freezer.  This is my gift from my October self to my February self.  A brightness of reddish pink, against the monotone of the snow.  A “practically jump right into you” boost of flavor and nutrition.  It warms the soul.


In the Freezer February 18, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Uncategorized — beansandyoga @ 5:35 pm
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frozen-peasEveryone has staples they keep on hand.  Most of mine are in the freezer.  Here’s a peek:

Veggies: peas, broccoli, edamame, corn, spinach and whatever else sounds good.

Fruit: raspberries or strawberries



Shredded cheese: Cheddar, Sharp Cheddar and Colby-Jack

Left-overs: slices from home-made roast beef or roasted chicken.  Just thaw in the microwave to add to a salad, soup or sandwich.

Soups, Rice & Re-fried beans: home-made and stored in 3-cup/24 oz. containers.

Chopped onions: Recipes often call for chopped onion, but may not always require an entire onion.  I chop the entire onion, and place the extra in a Ziploc bag.  It freezes beautifully and then when I want just a handful for an omelet, it’s ready to go.  When cooking frozen onions, omit the oil at the beginning or you’ll have a splatter.  Once the onions have thawed in the pan and appear to be sauteing nicely, you can add a teaspoon or so of oil as needed for your recipe.


Swordfish with Tomatoes and Capers February 14, 2009

Need something elegant yet easy to serve on Valentine’s Day?  Here’s an option that I’ve found wonderful. valentines-day-091


1/2 Cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 Cup chopped fresh fennel

1 1/2 Tablespoons good olive oil

1/2 Teaspoon minced garlic

14 Ounce can of plum tomatoes, drained

1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon chicken stock

1 Tablespoon good dry white wine

1/4 Cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1 Tablespoon capers, drained

1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter

2 1-inch-thick swordfish fillets (may also use cod or red snapper)

For the sauce, cook the onions and fennel in the oil in a large saute pan on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the drained tomatoes, smashing them in the pan with a fork, plus the salt and pepper.  Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Add the chicken stock and white wine and simmer for 10 more minutes to reduce the liquid.  Add the basil, capers, and butter and cook for 1 minute more.

Prepare a grill with hot coals.  Brush the swordfish with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill on high heat for 5 minutes on each side until the center is no longer raw.  Do not overcook.  Place the sauce on the bottom of a plate, arrange the sworfish on top, and garnish with basil leaves.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

(May also pan fry, bake or broil the swordfish.)

Serve with a salad of fresh greens and a dessert of ice cream, sorbet, good chocolate or your local bakery’s most enticing Valentine’s Day offering.

From: “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook” by Ina Garten


What I’m eating now – Dark Chocolate Pudding February 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized,What I'm eating now — beansandyoga @ 11:39 pm
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One of my favorites.  Easy, fast, simple.


3 tablespoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I use cocoa from Penzey’s Spices.)

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Prep time: 10 minutes

In a saucepan, thoroughly combine the cornstarch, sugar, and cocoa.  Add the milk and stir until very smooth.  Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the pudding comes to a boil.  Lower the heat and gently simmer, stirring continuously, for 3 or 4 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the vanilla, pour the hot pudding into a decorative serving bowl or individual custard cups, and serve warm or chill for about 2 hours, until cold and set.

Using skim milk, per 4.50 oz. serving: 4.4 g protein, .8 g fat, .4 g saturated fatty acids, 0 g polyunsaturated fatty acids, .1 g monounsaturated fatty acids

I really don’t like reading labels, but in case you’re in the habit, I wanted to show how innocent this recipe is, despite the fact that it’s a dessert.

Recipe and nutrition info from, “Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites” by the Moosewood Collective


“Cutting Back” Article Now Posted on Divine Caroline February 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beansandyoga @ 6:05 pm

See the full article here.


How to cut down on meat without eating creepy food February 2, 2009

Filed under: Energy,Uncategorized — beansandyoga @ 10:57 am
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hungry-hippoMany are trying to stretch their groceries as we ride out the economy.  A glance at websites touting vegetarianism reminds me of foods that I’d rather NOT eat, such as tofu, tempeh and other “fake meat” foods.  Okay, tofu isn’t so bad if well prepared.  Still, I don’t particularly enjoy cooking with it.

What stymied me was how to stay full while cutting back on meat.  I experimented a lot.  Following is what works best for me.  I have the energy I need.  I last longer without feeling as if I’m lagging or starving.  What amazed me is that before long, I was content to skip meat altogether.

You may still want to eat meat, and I think it’s best to listen to what your body is telling you.  To each, their own.  If you are interested on cutting back, however, the following may help.


1.  I need a ratio of about twice as many beans to rice in order to feel full.

2.  A filling dish of beans and rice makes me crave a fresh salad, or a light vegetable soup later in the day.

3.  I usually have steel-cut oatmeal for breakfast, a beans and rice dish for lunch, and a veggie dish later in the day.

4.  If I have a serious workday ahead, and know that I have to have high energy through ’til lunch, then I’ll have re-fried beans and rice for breakfast. (The home-made kind, not canned.  I make a big batch, freeze it into small containers, and re-heat as needed.)

5.  If I eat a filling dish of beans and rice, it’s almost TOO much protein for me if I have meat later in the day. I did it once and I had a food coma for nearly two days!

6.  Light colored beans have more protein. That means they’ll be more filling.

7. Sometimes, I crave plain old pasta after I’ve been eating this way.  Just pasta and tomato sauce, or pasta and Parmesan cheese.  No meat needed (for me).

8.  A dish that combines beans and meat, such as chili, may or may not be filling. I’m not as full after a dish made of kidney beans.  I’m VERY full after a bowl of white chili, made of chicken and white beans.  A thinner soup, such as minestrone, may or may not leave me full for long, depending on the ratio of beans to the other ingredients.