Sustainable Eating #1

Mar 29, 2013 by

Foodie Friday

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Beach Fare: Oysters

Aug 10, 2012 by

I grew up in the Northeast where we followed the “R” rule for eating oysters: You must only consume oysters in months with an ‘R’ in them. From May thru August, fresh shucked oysters were not an option. Not so in the Northwest where oysters are available year round – many varieties in many preparations. Why? Colder waters, more varieties to choose from, better farming techniques and more knowledge on the part of oyster purveyors and patrons. Seattle is home to fabulous Happy Hours and qualifies as an oyster-eater’s paradise. Several popular restaurants start serving oysters at 4:00 PM for a $1.00 each. By 4:30 you can’t get a seat. But you can always find fresh shucked oysters in jars or containers at reputable seafood sellers and quality markets to transform in cooked preparations....

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Grilling For Veggies

Jun 8, 2012 by

We called it barbecuing. Growing up in Boston the onset of summer, which hopefully was more June than July (!) was when Dad took the cover off the grill.  At first it was hot dogs, burgers, chicken, steak and ribs that found their way to the grill.  Then Dad got fancy adding salmon and fresh seasonal corn to his repertoire  but pretty much it stopped there. Oh wait .. there were of course, the critical s’mores! It wasn’t until I moved to Atlanta that I found out there was a big difference between BBQ and grilled food. Whatever you call it there is nothing quite as wonderful as food cooked on a grill. One of the benefits of living in the South is I can grill all year long.  My favorites these days are experimenting...

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Fennel – Everything You Could Want In A Vegetable!...

May 11, 2012 by

I ask you:  don’t you sometimes want a vegetable that you can do almost anything with? Use it raw, roast, sauté, fry, shave, slice, chop, puree or freeze? And be assured it plays well with others? Fennel would be your choice. And although the white, bulbous plant topped with stalks ending in frilly fronds looks downright ‘alien,’- according to one food blogger – it is definitely worth taking to home and befriending. The flavor is sweet and mildly licorice. That characteristic is most notable when fennel is used raw but mellows appreciably when it is cooked.  This staple of Mediterranean cuisine shows up regularly in restaurants, cookbooks and food blogs. Look for firm, unblemished bulbs and plan to use the white part for dishes featuring the fennel but make sure to save the stalks...

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Quinoa Rhapsody

Apr 6, 2012 by

There may be some of you out there who don’t want one more healthy idea from me, but honestly, you’ll thank me for this! I assume you have had quinoa – pronounced ‘keen-wa’ – sometime in the past or recent past. It seems to be turning up everywhere Foodies congregate: salad bars, delis, restaurants. It is one of those magic foods that can appear in all parts of a meal and at all meals from breakfast to a satisfying comfort-dessert. That is provided you treat it well and cook it with enough flavor to make it sing. It is fabulously healthy. It is not only high in protein, it is actually a complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids and is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, essential for...

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The Beet Goes On

Feb 24, 2012 by

I asked the members of my food class called A Matter of Taste-Food and its Many Attractions – what they loved to eat and what they hated. It’s amazing how much energy people have for the foods they don’t like! At the top of the list was liver. A few people came to its defense, including me, but I wasn’t about to convince anybody to give it another chance. (I grew up eating fabulous Jewish chopped liver made with real schmaltz and I still adore Pate of any kind.) Next on the list were beets, followed by Brussels sprouts. That proved to be a rallying call and I pledged to bring in at least one dish from each ingredient to see if we could have a few conversion experiences. I felt a bit messianic...

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Eat Your Greens

Jan 27, 2012 by

I’m sitting at my desk in Seattle, cat on my lap, watching the snow pile up outside and feeling the old childlike pleasure of a ‘Snow Day.’ We don’t get this kind of weather very often – every few years to be honest – so it feels good to have a day when I can do what I choose and not have to leave the premises for any reason except pleasure. I taught the first session of the second quarter of the food-related class I teach at the Lifetime Learning Center, a school that has a wide variety of classes for older adults. The class description reads: A Matter of Taste – Getting to Know Ingredients This semester we will continue to explore the fascinations of food and the gifts of our Seattle food...

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No, I Don’t Want A Salad

Jan 13, 2012 by

“We’ll be having prime rib; if you don’t want to eat that, there’ll be salad and stuff…since there’ll only be two of you who don’t eat meat.” – a friend inviting me to a New Year’s feast. Oh! Boy! I could hardly wait to go feast on “salad and stuff.” This week’s lead article in the NYT dining section was Meatless in the Midwest: A Tale of Survival. It’s the story of an NYT reporter who moved to Kansas City, Mo and is a hard-core vegetarian (I’m not). However, I can really relate to her being told by a waitress – after working the way through menu options (made with lard, made with chicken stock, etc.) – “You want a salad.”  Well, no she really didn’t. But that’s what she got, and iceberg.  Sigh....

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All-Purpose Celebratory: Festive without Symbols...

Dec 23, 2011 by

Growing up Jewish I never had a Christmas tree and did my share of  begging for the beautiful ornaments and sparkly lights. My parents rigorously opposed the ‘Chanukah Bush’ concept, countering my insistence that I would have one of my own when I left home with smug assurance that I wouldn’t do that.  They were wrong for decades: I spent the fall semester of my senior year in college making hand-beaded ornaments to hang on the tree in my boyfriend’s apartment. We still lit Chanukah candles, and I justified it because his roommates weren’t Jewish. Half a decade later, when I lived in San Diego, I had a tree of my own with ornaments collected from trips to Mexico. I continued collecting and amassed a beautiful international array of ornaments. And then, right around...

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The Latkes Debate: Blender or Shredded...

Dec 23, 2011 by

We’ve all got cherished family recipes, don’t we? Chanukah, a Jewish holiday celebrated with food fried in oil, begins on December 20th this year.  The oil reminds us of a miracle in which an eternal light burned for 8 days even though it only had enough oil for one day. Everyone likes a good ancient miracle, but in my opinion the real miracle is how incredibly delicious fried potato pancakes taste on the one occasion per year that I make them. “Omigosh!”, I say to myself.  “I forgot how good these are!”  It’s the same way I feel about M&Ms. I’ll share the family recipe for potato latkes below, but in typical familial fashion, my mother and I have something of a disagreement about how to prepare them. She feels the potatoes should be...

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Vegetarian Chili

May 20, 2011 by

OK. I confess. I’m not single, I’m a carnivore, and my husband is always trying to convert me to veganism, or at least give it a Girl Scout try.  I’m the classic Irish Potato head, and if I had my way I’d be eating hamburgers and corn beef hash behind his back. So, being married is definitely not all it’s cracked up to be girls.  If you’re Catholic and married or Jewish and married, there’s a ton of guilt that could even result in your confessing, “Oh, I feel so guilty that I ate that”. It may be only slightly exaggerating to say that I feel guilty that I’m not a more “healthy” eater because I talk about health all the time and shine the light on others who actually…are the ones I wish...

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