Friday, July 31, 2009

Eggplants, My Favorite Veggie

I love eggplants - I adore them. Eggplants, also known as aubergines, can be an acquired taste, especially if you did not grow up eating it. They come in different sizes, but mostly are purple (there are some white ones too). One of my favorite recipes (below) is one I grew up eating regularly. My siblings hated it, but I was always excited to eat it.. must have been the fair share of butter! As an adult, I love baba ganoush (a Middle Eastern dip), moussaka (a Greek stuffed eggplant), eggplant parmesan, grilled eggplant chips, etc. If it has eggplant in it, I'm there!

(photo credit: The Marmot)

Nutritionally, eggplants are not heavy hitters, but they are valuable! They are low in calories, some fiber, no fat, and are a rich source of manganese. They are a great way to round out a meal.

Japanese Eggplant Stirfry
A very simple recipe.. you can use Japanese eggplants (which are narrow and dark purple) or Italian, or Chinese. I think most other kinds would work, just eyeball quantities to match the amount you need. They do shrink down a bit when cooked.

Eggplant, peeled & cut into bite-sized chunks
Sea salt & pepper
Butter - from grassfed, pastured cows or organic preferably

In a large saucepan, place cut-up eggplant and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. On medium-low heat, cover with a lid and steam them for about 15 minutes. Check the water level mid-way so that they don't burn! They should be fairly soft at this point and all of the water gone. Add a chunk of butter (or two!) to the mix. Salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Thanks to Diane from The WHOLE Gang for inspiring me to post this recipe for her Friday Foodie collection!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Don't let HR 2749 Pass! Contact your Legislators Today!!

HR 2749, also known as the Food Safety Enhancement Act, did not pass earlier this week, and it could potentially be up for vote again today. We need to prevent this from happening for all the local, artisanal, family farmers out there. HR 2749 will impose extreme hardship on the people we need most in our food system by forcing them to pay high fees and provide extensive paperwork, all to do business.

There are three ways to contact your representatives:

1) Send an email through the Oppose HR 2749 petition on
2) Got to "My Elected Officials" at and enter your zip code in the box on the upper left hand corner to find your legislators. Call and/or send a fax.
3) Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asked to be connected to your Representative's office.

Get involved with your food!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer Update - Experiments Galore!

Hi folks,

Long time, no see! Needless to say, things have been busy this summer. I have been to at least 10 big events since July 4th, and I have one more Disney symphony concert to attend next Wednesday before the month is up. I am getting as much studying done as I possibly can, so as you can see I have been slacking from my "one post a week" schedule! Physiology course has been checked done, now on to Community Nutrition.

This is the first somewhat free Saturday I have had in ages. I am experimenting with fake rotisserie chicken in the crockpot. I am re-activating my new water kefir grains I just got as a gift from my fabulous hubby in a sugar-water-apple juice-banana mixture. So, watch out for kefir apple soda in the near future! Bellydance practice and drumming practice may be in store for me as well.. or maybe a nap? Who knows what else will be accomplished in the rest of the day!

I have also been experimenting (life is an experiment, isn't it?) with Fast 5 to see if I lose any stubborn weight. It is similar to the Warrior Diet, where one only eats during a 5-hour window of time. The premise behind this method is to allow your body to rest between heavy digestion and to allow your hormones (specifically insulin and leptin) to balance out. Several weeks into it, I have to say it does seem helpful, but the quality and quantity of one's nutrition certainly still reigns supreme. I must say though that looking at the body holistically still gives the best indicators of good health and well-being. The interaction of hormones is definitely something on my radar for studying.

In terms of eating, I have had a few slip-up days in not following the ideal pro-thyroid diet (according to my enzyme therapist), but I also have had some incredible yummy summer days of good-quality pastured meat/poultry and lots of salads and greens. I really enjoy the hunter-gatherer diet the most - I think it leaves me the most satisfied and emotionally balanced. But, the experimentation continues!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Top 12 Food Additives to Avoid

I'm very happily subscribed to the Organic Consumer Association's regular email blast, which alerted me to this article on HealthNews. So, here's the list of the top 12 food additives. The whole point of this is to make you aware of what you are eating! Read labels!! And, raise an eyebrow to labels that contain the word "spices" (which basically tells you there is a food additive in there that they don't have to tell you what it actually is). Let's keep it real, folks!

1. Sodium nitrite (and sodium nitrate)
2. BHA & BHT
3. Propyl gallate
4. Monosodium glutamate aka MSG aka neurotoxin!
5. Trans fat
6. Aspartame - if you absolutely need sugar, stick to the real stuff
7. Acesulfame-K
8. Food colorings
9. Olestra
10. Potassium bromate
11. White sugar -- other options are maple syrup, rapadura, stevia, & honey
12. Sodium chloride - commercial salt can have dextrose added to it, stick to unrefined sea salt