Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, ‘It’s All Good’

Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, ‘It’s All Good’

by Sherri Meyer Corporate Dietitian

In a totally non-nutrition related confession, I love all things Gwyneth Paltrow. Not in the creepy I want to name my children after her, but more in the fascination of a life that is led with incredible privilege. However, when her latest cookbook came out I didn’t have much interest simple because I deemed it unrealistic, mostly based on the pre-release reviews. However, one day while walking through the bookstore I happened to come upon the book. Curious more about the pictures of the blonde haired beauty rather than the recipes, I began to comb through the book. To my surprise the first few pages presented recipes that were really intriguing. I made a spontaneous decision to purchase the book and since we were visiting family I had a few spare moments to actually read through the pages. Now I agree with many reviews that some of the ingredients may be hard to obtain and can be quite expensive. But once I was done reading this book I had a few takeaways

  1. Her health/elimination recommendations should not be taken literally, meaning this is just one persons personal experience of how to live healthier
  2. Many recipes call for sheep or goats milk yogurt which can be replaced with the easy to obtain Greek yogurt
  3. I have no issue with gluten/wheat so I have no problem using regular whole grain bread in place of her recommended “gluten free” bread
  4. This book is a guide, not gospel. Though I cook often, I have new ideas for easily incorporating quinoa into my everyday diet and some great dressing ideas (again they can be easily modified)

For a more animated review of GP’s latest venture into clean eating see the quite comical review from the Washington Post.

Weekly Wisdom – Mediterranean Diet: Making it work for you (part 2)

by Sherri Meyer Corporate Dietitian

  • Eat fish – two 4 oz servings of fish are recommended per week;look for easy, foolproof recipes for cooking ease
  • Love the lemons – Squeeze on salads & vegetables; make dressing with olive oil, lemon, fresh garlic & salt

Source: Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

Mindful eating quest (part 3)

by Sherri Meyer Corporate Dietitian

As my quest for mindful eating continues, I have explored consuming foods I traditionally do not eat. As I mentioned previously, I have not been a fan of yogurt, but I was determined to give it another chance. After some trial and error, I came to the conclusion that pre-sweetened yogurts were the most undesirable for me. Not only do they contain the added sugar I am trying to limit, they produce an undesirable taste on my palate. However, I have become a fan of plain Greek yogurt and have been eating in a variety of ways. Helping me to break out of my cereal rut, I pair plain Greek yogurt with granola (homemade so I can control the sugar content), add it as a garnish on my eggs and even mix it with avocado. At night, always looking for a taste of something sweet, I pair granola with slightly sweetened popcorn or make a shake with Greek yogurt, plain almond milk, banana & cocoa powder (still a work in progress). The point being I have opened my mind (and mouth) to new flavors and textures that I probably would not have done in my previous “mindless” eating life. However, my transition to mindful eating has not been seamless and like anyone with a busy schedule I struggle day to day with making smart choices. That said, we should certainly take pride in any small changes we make in our life that lead to better health. 

This chart from Appetite for Health is a great go to guide how to use Greek yogurt in ways you may not thought of.

Weekly Wisdom – Mediterranean Diet: Making it work for you (Part 1)

by Sherri Meyer Corporate Dietitian

  • Do not fear fat ­ think extra virgin olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Research proves fat enhances the nutrients we absorb from food
  • Make veggies the star of your plate ­ find ways to have salads play a bigger role.
  • Embrace beans ­ add to salads, whole grain pilafs, pasta, etc.

Weekly Wisdom – Food Rules: Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature

by Sherri Meyer Corporate Dietitian

  • Can you imagine the long list of Twinkie ingredients in their raw state or in the places they grow? No!
  • This rule will keep all sort of chemicals & foodlike substances out of your diet.

Source: The Green Book

April Recipe: Spring Pea & Mint Soup

by

Serves 10

4t - oliveoil
1c - shallots,minced
2t - garlic,fresh minced
8c - petite peas, fresh/shelledor frozen thawed
51⁄2c - chicken or vegetable broth
1⁄3c - fresh mint chiffonade
1t -salt
1⁄2t - pepper

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat
  2. Add shallots & garlic,sauté until tender, 7 minutes
  3. Add peas & stir1min, add broth, bring to simmer
  4. Cook peas until tender,about 8 minutes
  5. Puree soup & mint in batches until smooth
  6. Return to pot, thin with more broth if desired, add s&p
  7. Ladle into bowls, garnish with chopped mint

Weekly Wisdom – Food Fears: Which ones should you worry about?

by smeyer

  • Farmed salmon ­ err on the side of caution & don’t eat more than once a month.
  • Arsenic in rice ­ eat no more than 1 ½­2 c cooked rice a week-­sub other grains such as quinoa, millet, wheat berries, spelt, etc.
  • Nonstick cookware fumes ­ breakdown only occurs when cookware is heated over 500 ° F; keep the burner below high.

Mindful eating quest (part 2)

by Sherri Meyer Corporate Dietitian

It has been about 2 weeks since my quest to turn myself back into a mindful eater. As I mentioned in my previous post, I realized I spend half my days eating haphazardly while standing in my kitchen. The first few days proved to be challenging as I realized that it takes me great effort not to grab a piece of food every time I walked by the kitchen counter or stove. I would have a piece of food in midair before realizing that 1. I was not standing up and needed to sit down before I could eat or 2. I truly was not hungry. The biggest challenge for me has been making the time to prepare meals & snacks so that I do not grab the first thing in sight (which is usually chocolate). Some of my saving graces this past 2 weeks have been:

  1. Fresh baby spinach from the farmer’s market which I wash as soon as I purchase and then store in the salad spinner. I make a quick salad with lemon juice, a spritz of olive oil & balsamic vinegar. If I am in need of a protein I throw in some salmon or eggs.
  2. Cooked quinoa (or other grain of choice, I really like faro too). I cook up a batch of grains and store them in individual containers in the freezer. When I want to throw a quick meal together, I defrost a glass container and thrown in my toppings of choice (I like feta and lemon juice).
  3. Granola. My husband whips up a big batch of granola and this is a great snack for me paired with plain Greek yogurt. Normally I am not a fan of yogurt, especially the presweetened varieties, but I do like the plain Greek variety (also good with popcorn).
  4. Still allowing myself to have some chocolate during the day. Rather than mindlessly eating chocolate in front of the computer, I allow myself a dark chocolate square that I will only eat in the kitchen (remember I am being mindful).
  5. Not eating in front of the computer!

Here is our go to recipe for Crunchy Granola, adapted from Mark Bittman.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
  • 2 cups mixed nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or cashews (I use less)
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit, optional (I omit, personal preference)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine oats, nuts and seeds, coconut, cinnamon, salt and sweetener. Place on a sheet pan and put in oven. Bake for 30 minutes or a little longer, stirring occasionally. Mixture should brown evenly; the browner it gets without burning, the crunchier the granola will be.
  2. Remove pan from oven and add raisins or dried fruit. Cool on a rack, stirring once in a while until granola reaches room temperature. Transfer to a sealed container and store in refrigerator; it will keep indefinitely.

LocalHarvest.org

by Denise Simmons, Corporate Executive Chef

A beautifully written piece on what it means to ‘put the love’ in the food. If you don’t receive the LocalHarvest.org updates on what’s happening in your area, do so now-it’s great information!


LocalHarvest Newsletter, March 29, 2013

Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter.

A little while back I was on a road trip and stopped at a coffee shop for a snack. I picked up one of the extra large cookies on the counter to see what was in it, and there, listed at the end of the usual ingredients was ‘love.’ I am sorry to say that my initial reaction included a tiny bit of eye rolling. It felt a little gimmicky – but it got me thinking. If we can put love into food, all sorts of possibilities open up, including how we think about good food.

We who appreciate good food sometimes struggle when it comes to describing it. Does it need to be grown within a certain number of miles? Does all organic food count? What if its parent company was a multinational? It gets complicated. Maybe there is some shorthand that would help, and maybe that shorthand is this: good food is grown and prepared with love.

What does that mean, exactly? How do we add love to our food? For myself, one important piece is simply paying attention to both the ingredients and the act of cooking. It’s the easiest thing in the world to throw together a quick supper while thinking a thousand racing thoughts about everything but the vegetables in my hands. But really, it is almost as simple, and infinitely more satisfying, to close the mental door on the day, focus on the task at hand, and take note of the fact that this food – this onion, these beans, this rice – this food right here will nourish me and my family, will become the energy that sustains us. Being mentally present and open-hearted changes what happens in the kitchen. It’s noticeable. My husband appreciates food and the effort home-cooking requires, and even when I’ve just thrown dinner together he looks at it and says, “Thank you for cooking, sweetie.” But when I’ve really put my heart into it, he’ll almost always say something like, “Wow, this is beautiful.” And it is.

So love changes food and the way we perceive it. I think this is one reason so many of us are drawn to farmers markets, farm stands and CSAs. Much of this food has been loved its whole life, and some part of us knows that. While not every farmer would use the word “love” in relation to what he or she does in the fields, I think it’s a fair descriptor of what’s going on when someone works for months to raise a crop, poring over crop rotations and seed orders, scraping weeds away from seedlings, sifting soil between their fingers to test the moisture, and getting up at 4:00 every morning to care for animals and load trucks and do the million other things necessary to bring in the harvest. Such work requires sustained attention, and usually, what people attend to deeply opens their hearts. Crops raised in this way, like meals prepared with care at home, are good food.

When we give our full attention to that which sustains us, whether we are growing, preparing, serving or eating it, that attention becomes a form of blessing. And we too are blessed.

Until next time, take good care and eat well.
Erin

Erin Barnett
Director
LocalHarvest