Practical, healthful eating and living.

Summer Breakfast May 29, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Energy — beansandyoga @ 1:51 pm
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meusli 5 29 09This time of year, I switch from hot, steel-cut oatmeal to meusli.  What is meusli?  It’s similar to granola, only not baked in oil the way granola is.  Pronounced, MEW zlee, it’s a combination of oats, nuts, and dried fruit.

I love it in the morning with milk and honey.  Sometimes, I’ll slice a banana for it, or add fresh raspberries or blueberries.  It’s also handy as a yogurt topping.

I used to get it in the bulk food section of my grocery store.  Recently, I’ve started mixing my own.  It’s so simple!


3 cups oats

1 cup raw or roasted nuts (any or all: almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped dates

Optional: Flax seeds, dried apples, dried cranberries or any other dried fruit.

Store in an airtight container.  It will keep for 8-12 weeks.


The Perfect Snack May 22, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Energy,What I'm eating now — beansandyoga @ 2:13 pm
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Baguette 052209I can tell time by my stomach.  I can tell if two hours have gone by since my last meal.  Oh yes, my appetite lets me know.  That means that I eat a lot of snacks between meals.  I have to.  If I don’t, my energy ebbs.  I wilt like a plant in the sun.

Today, I wanted something mild to contrast with a cannelini (white bean) dish I’d made with bacon, onion and balsamic vinegar.  It seemed to be calling for a French baguette.  To that, I added slices of brie cheese, and the only fruit I had on hand, an orange.

Oh, so satisfying!

I don’t normally eat white bread.  But I’ve found that since I’ve switched to whole grains, a trace of bread, pasta or popcorn seems okay.  In fact, a small serving per day seems to balance out my diet.  I would not, however, return to eating white bread or refined carbs as a staple.

I figured that if I couldn’t eat the entire baguette, I’d freeze it and use it in bread pudding later.  The sweet yet tart flavor of the orange slices added a sparkle to the milder flavors of the bread and cheese.  I simply laid out slices of the orange, cheese and bread on a plate and nibbled until I felt refreshed.


Cilantro, Chives & Basil May 15, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Uncategorized — beansandyoga @ 9:36 am
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Herb Pots

Cilantro, chives and basil.

Who can help but get the itch for planting when everywhere you look there is fresh dirt, empty from winter,  just waiting to be filled?  Grocery store entrances are flanked with seedlings, and as the landscape greens and blossoms, I find that I want to join in, too.

Fresh herbs are low maintenance.  They don’t need much room; a small pot will do.  Put them in a sunny window, on a deck, or in a larger garden.  Cilantro can be tricky.  I manage to kill it within a few weeks, but I no longer take it hard.  Perhaps it’s not meant to live long?  I’ve gotten used to replacing it as needed.  Basil, chives, rosemary, and thyme are hardier.

Fresh cilantro makes the perfect topping for any Mexican food.  Slivers of fresh basil bring out the flavor of Italian dishes.  Sprinkle chopped chives over potatoes, pasta, or salads.


Ice Cream May 5, 2009

ice-cream One of my all-time favorite foods is ice cream.  Interestingly, since I’ve been eating more pinto beans, black beans and so on, my cravings for ice cream have decreased.  But it’s still a treat.  I’ll always love it.

I encourage you to eat the real thing.  Don’t go for low-fat.  Skip anything with artificial ingredients.  Ice cream is meant to be eaten in its original form.  Go for home-made with real cream.  Don’t worry about the fat content.  What happens is that when you eat real, “original fat” ice cream, you fill up more quickly, and therefore eat less.  It’s more satisfying, so it doesn’t leave you wishing for more. (I made up the term, “original fat.”)

My favorite brands are by two local makers.  Who makes the best home-made ice cream in your town?

Favorite Ice Cream Brands

1.  Tied: Sebastian Joe’s and Sonny’s.

(Local to Minneapolis)

2.  Whole Foods’ 365 house brand.

This is a great little secret.  Twice as much for about the same price as a pint of other brands.

3.  Ben & Jerry’s.