Just about everyone has an affinity for some kind of bread, and most of us have heard of a reason or two why we maybe shouldn’t eat slice after slice of it. While there is some validity to the bread-bashing, sourdough made from your own unique starter of wild yeast and bacteria often defies the negativity, and it does so purely by its nature. The crafting of sourdough is an ancient art, and one of which we’re pretty fond–for a few (or 10) reasons. (more…)
Apparently I was a picky eater growing up. I had an aversion to fine foods. Little did I know, this was not my fault. I did not arbitrarily shy away from certain foods, and I am happy to report that years later, much of my hated foods list has become part of my favorite foods list.
Hated to Favorite #1: Beets
Come on, who really likes canned beets? So not yummy. And those beets were the only ones I knew. Thankfully, I have discovered freshly roasted beets. Try them. You’ll thank me, and your body will thank you.
Hated to Favorite #2: Sweet Potatoes/Yams
I always associated sweet potatoes and yams with Thanksgiving, which meant they were candied. Turns out sugary potatoes aren’t my style. However, roast these root veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper, and I will eat them like candy.
Hated to Favorite #3: Quinoa
I feel like quinoa is the one food everyone has to be in love with in order to declare oneself a healthy eater. I could not jump on the quinoa train, though, and I really tried. Then I discovered quinoa cooked in coconut milk, which gives it a miraculous new flavor and makes for a choice breakfast item.
Hated to Favorite #4: Walnuts
I think I despised walnuts because my baby-sitter made picking black walnuts out of the yard an after-school activity. That woman was a saint on earth, but picking walnuts was not fun. My devotion to walnuts now is as immense as was hers, and I am oh-so-thankful. I top everything with walnuts.
Hated to Favorite #5: Yogurt
Low-calorie flavored yogurt is gross. It is sour and unsatisfying. I gave yogurt a second chance in the form of creamy, organic, plain, whole-milk yogurt. I spiced it with cinnamon and sweetened it with maple syrup and fell in love. Try it- love may be just around the corner for you, too.
So, you see, there is hope for picky eaters. Check out the videos below to see other ways to enjoy some of my now fancied foods. Have some patience and be curious, and your hated foods may become your favorite foods, too.
People who tell me they hate this vegetable reconsider, maybe even fall in love, when they taste pressure-cooked beets. The magic pot renders them tender and silky. The gritty texture and sometimes dirty flavor goes away. Cmon. Give ‘em a try.
We use these in oodles of dishes - massaged kale salad, tossed green salad, rice and quinoa dishes, rolled into chicken breasts. And they make an exceptional snack, appetizer or gift. Let Steve show you how to make a jar today!
Hip hip hooray, brightly colored vegetables! Roasting sweet potatoes makes them super sweet. Combining apples and kale is divine. Put them together and what can we say? Fabulous vegetable dish coming your way.
Happy New Year! We hope you’ve had a lovely holiday season and are embracing the new year. If you’re like many, it’s possible that holiday festivities have worn you out and have got you dreading the kitchen. Thinking about ways to enhance your kitchen and cooking experiences may be the last things on your mind.
BUT, what better time to get back to basics and make sure you aren’t selling yourself short in the kitchen? Or, on the contrary, maybe you’ve made a resolution to cook more and/or eat more at home. Whatever your circumstance, now is the perfect time to check out the timeless Cookus ‘how-to” videos below. They’re a great reminder to not forget about the foundation of efficiency as we so often get distracted by striving to be efficient.
Cheers to health, happiness, good food, and kitchen fun!
Gentlemen, turn on your fans. Everything you’ve been taught about smoking fat needs to go right out the window. Steve powers through the step-by-step on this baby. You’ll never wonder how to do this again.
Today’s pressure cookers are safe and efficient. I love using mine to cook beans, grains and root vegetables, even applesauce. Here’s how.
A dull knife is the most dangerous tool in the kitchen. Learn this inexpensive, tried and true method to keep your knife sharp. Soon you also will see no reflection (on the knife blade, not in the mirror…gee).
Green smoothies are all the rage these days. Allrecipes.com even calls them hot. And it’s not without good reason either. Smoothies are maybe the the easiest way to get a whole lotta green goodness in just a few delicious sips, and green smoothie recipes can be as simple or as complex as your palate prefers.
What are the benefits of drinking greens, you ask? Well, the chlorophyl in greens helps to detoxify the body and enhance oxygen transport, greens contain oodles of antioxidants that protect your cells from free radical damage, raw greens promote healthy digestion, and liquid greens can provide a boost of energy–just to name a few.
A few of our favorite websites that give bunches of info on making green smoothies are:
Blend away. That’s it. Getting your greens has never been easier.
Once you’re into the green magic, getting creative with composition can be a lot of fun and surprisingly scrumptious. Good Clean Health shares a printable Smoothieology Guide that newbies and pros alike will love. Based on the Smoothieology Guide, one of my favorite recipes is:
Blend away and enjoy. And then smile. Your body will thank you for the delicious nutrition.
The possibilities for green smoothies really are endless. Another one of my favorites includes pumpkin, kind of like this one from Happy Herbivore. Do you have a favorite green smoothie recipe? We’d love for you to share in the comments below. And if you just can’t get into smoothies, check out the Smoothie In A Bowl. You might fall in love.
*To make green juice, you will need a juicer and some raw greens. Kale, spinach, Romaine, Swiss chard, and collard greens are a few options. For a quick and fun visual tutorial on how to juice, watch this video–Make Juice, Not War.
Feeding kids can be a really fun thing. Even if your kids are picky eaters, experimenting with different foods and recipes is often a rewarding experience. It may mean that dinner ideas come and go, but if nothing else we learn what doesn’t work. After all, kids are honest, and that’s why we love them.
There are days, though, when the adventure that comes with culinary exploration just isn’t appealing. Lack of time and energy prevail over the desire to be the hero who introduces the latest and greatest kid-friendly creation. It is on those days that we rely upon sure-fire dishes to please the whole family–especially the kids.
If you’re thinking that these palate-pleasing, kid-friendly dishes will be either painfully boring or disturbingly unwholesome, think again! We’ve got a slew of tried and true recipes that kids LOVE. And you’ll love everything about them, too. Look below for a few of our foolproof favorites, and click here if you want to learn more about teaching kids to love healthy food.
Who doesn’t like cheddar cheese sauce? Let Jane show you how this simple addition can make blanched vegetables oh-so-yummy. Serve alongside roasted chicken and you’ve got dinner for everyone. To get the recipe, click here.
Frosting really makes everything better. And this one is loaded with golden-orange color, sweet earthy flavor, and A and C nutrients. A great way to utilize leftover yams and sweet potatoes. Frost up Pumpkin Pecan Muffins, ginger cookies, carrot cake or raisin bread and you will become very popular. For the recipe, click here.
For whatever reason, kids love noodles, and these are no exception. Super easy to make, and you can even do them gluten-free. Add some fried tofu (another kid favorite) to the mix and dinner is ready. Click here for the recipe.
Ever stop to wonder about just how awesome and efficient Mother Nature is? I sure hope so. But if not, let me give you a real quick reason to: Mother Nature has got our backs, and a perfect example of this is the abundance of Vitamin D rich mushrooms found in nature during dark and dreary days.
The human body can make Vitamin D (super important!), but it has to be exposed to sunlight to do so. As you can imagine, Vitamin D manufacturing is a little bit of a problem when sunny skies and warm weather are scarce. Fortunately for us human folk, mushrooms contain this nutrient and have no problem growing in dark, cool, and damp conditions. How handy! It gets better, too- these guys may help to fight sickness by boosting the immune system, which is also quite convenient during winter weather (AKA cold and flu season). Good lookin’ out, Mother Nature.
Some other fun facts about mushrooms are:
Ancient Egyptians considered mushrooms to be a food reserved for royalty only.
A mushroom is a fungus–not a vegetable or an herb as is commonly thought.
Mushrooms are 80-90% water.
One portabella mushroom contains more potassium than a banana.
Ancient Greeks believed that mushrooms provided strength for warriors in battle.
So, what are you waiting for?! Get to cooking with these royal edibles! Look below for some tasty recipes to get you started, and check out this article if you want to learn about how to maximize your Vitamin D intake via fungi.
Farro (aka emmer) is a chewy, satisfying whole grain. Soak it and cook it slowly to maximize flavor and tenderize the texture. The fresh herbs and mushrooms add amazing aroma. For the recipe, click here.
Toasted buckwheat groats (aka kasha) is a superior gluten-free grain that is underutilized. Cynthia shows you how to make it with potatoes, mushrooms and onions added. Yum! Click here for the recipe.
This succulent entrée is crazy simple. The mirin (sweet rice wine) and tamari meld with the chicken to make a dark sweet sauce. The oven does all the magic. To print the recipe, click here.
I recently heard a friend say she was so excited to make rich side dishes and desserts for Thanksgiving that she was thinking of foregoing the turkey completely. Though maybe a little exaggerative, I think this is a common thought of many folks. And don’t get me wrong- I love sides and desserts just as much as the next guy, but there is something wonderful about a balanced table, even on Thanksgiving.
What is a balanced table, you ask? Simply put, it’s one with variety, and the benefits of this variety are numerous: aesthetically pleasing, inviting and satisfying, just to name a few. Oftentimes table diversity is overlooked on Thanksgiving, and commonly the forgotten element is the gorgeous greenery. How sad!
We all know that greens are good for us, so let’s make this year the year they’re not left in the crisper on Thanksgiving. See below for a few of our favorite dark, leafy greens recipes (good for any occasion!). Each is also great for making ahead if you’re looking to save time on the big day.
Wild rice, local seasonal greens, fennel and red cabbage, melded with a clean lemon olive oil dressing make this a northwest favorite. A great way to add color and freshness to any table. To get the recipe, click here.
The BEST cooking method for assertive greens like kale and collards. Renders them tender and tasty. For the recipe, click here.
By massaging salt into kale, the bitterness disappears and the leaves become tender. Dress it with olive oil and apple cider vinegar after adding fresh apples, currants, nuts and crumbled cheese. A HUGE favorite for any occasion. To print the recipe, click here.
Greg Atkinson is so modest (and handsome…). As a chef and writer, Greg truly cares about the source of the food he works with. Having spent time visiting local vineyards and working with local fisherman gives him a seed-to-table perspective that I admire. But according to him, the measure that’s most valuable is the amount of heart that brings people together for a meal. Ain’t that the truth.
We told you how to tame the trick-or-treat sugar high by feeding the kids a solid pre-game meal, but what about strategies for the candy bag itself? Many parents want their kids to be able to partake fully in the trick-or-treat festivities of Halloween, but they may be mortified at the amount of candy this encourages their kids to consume. So, what to do? (more…)
Halloween is upon us, and what does that mean? Your kids are going to eat a lot more sugar than you’d prefer. It’s inevitable. What it doesn’t have to mean, though, is that your kids will be bouncing off the neighbor’s pumpkins due to a candy-induced sugar high. Feed them a wholesome Halloween dinner before it’s time to trick-or-treat and they’ll be less likely to experience a sugar high later.
The pre-game meal is of utmost importance. If the kids are satisfied prior to hitting the streets, they’ll be much less likely to gorge on candy. Protein and fiber are key ingredients here. Both ensure lasting fullness and help to keep blood sugar levels steady. Fill your kids with these key nutrients before dressing them up and chances are they’ll eat less candy.
Check out three of our suggestions for Halloween dinners below. They’re quick, easy, and sure to please both you and the kids. We can’t promise your trick-or-treating monsters won’t be running around like Frankenstein with his head cut off, but it’s worth a shot. And while you’re reveling in the excitement of outsmarting your kids, be sure to stay tuned for a few strategies on how to manage the candy bag itself - coming soon.
A favorite in our home. Cook a pot of rice and stir-fry chicken and oodles of vegetables adding a sauce made from tamari, brown sugar, ginger, honey and garlic. Super easy. To print, click here.
Cooked brown rice provides the sticky base for these vegetarian burgers made with nuts and spices. Soy-free, delicious, and filling. To print recipe, click here.
When you smear nori with wasabi, mustard and herbs and wrap it around salmon before cooking, the mineral-rich sea vegetable shrink-wraps the fish as it cooks and keeps it moist. Serve with brown rice and you’ve got a meal. To print, click here.