Food: Bean Spreads

I made these spreads so I wouldn’t have to buy hummus. Hummus is kind of expensive and I like something a bit thicker. SO… I started making these.

INGREDIANTS:

* 1 can (or 2 if you want to make more) of beans of your choice, higher protein the better people
* herbs and spices of your liking (I like cayenne pepper and spicy stuff)
* salt and pepper to taste
* pickled peppers or olives or nuts for a garnish like you see in Sabra and Tribe Hummus containers

INSTRUCTIONS:

* take beans out of can and put into a sauce pan on medium heat
* season with herbs and spices, salt and pepper to your liking
* cook beans until they are soft or noticably softer (this also cooks off extra liquids)
* when beans are soft, turn off heat and mash with a spoon or pestle to a consistancy you like, I prefer mine a bit chunky
* finely chop your garnish and place in the center like you see sometimes when you buy hummus

I’ve made three kinds: northern bean spread, dark kidney bean spread, and a garbanzo bean (chickpea) spread. The northern bean and dark kidney bean were the best.

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This is my dark kidney bean spread with finely chopped pickled jalepenos in the center as garnish.

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This was my first go at making the spread, I made this one with garbanzo beans (chickpeas). I learned not to use just a couple whole slices of pickled jalepenos. It wasn’t enough. Plus I also didn’t season it very much. Learned that lesson too.

Food: Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

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Ingredients:

  • Bell Pepper (one big enough to stuff with following ingredients)
  • Dark Kidney Beans (any will work but I chose these for the 9g of protein)
  • Mushrooms
  • Red Swiss Chard
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • SHREDDED CHEESE (I used pre-shredded because I’m lazy and got a Nacho Taco mixed cheeses because it had taco seasoning in it, Pepper Jack would maybe taste best)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (not black pepper but like hot pepper flakes or cayanne, mesquite would work really great too)
  • Butter
  1. prepare all your ingredients before cooking
  2. I sauteed the onions and crushed garlic first
  3. Put pepper(s) to boil for 2 minutes
  4. Steam the mushrooms and chard above the boiling pepper (you can saute them if you want)
  5. put tomatoes in a sauce pan, add the onions and garlic
  6. put beans in a separate sauce pan to heat up
  7. take pepper out after the two minutes and rub with a little butter, add the “pepper”
  8. when chard and mushrooms are done, mix them in a bowl with the tomatoes and beans
  9. layer plenty of cheese in the pepper before adding stuffing
  10. add a layer of veggie and bean stuffing, packing everything tight
  11. add more cheese
  12. add another layer of stuffing
  13. add an extra thick layer of cheese on top
  14. make little holes in the side of the pepper for water drainage from the veggie and bean stuffing
  15. stick in the oven until cheese is nice and gooey
  16. add salt to taste and ENJOY!

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Book Reviews: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

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This book, title and authors in Post Title, is absolutely amazing. It’s about a family spending one year deciding to eat nothing but local food, whether from the farmer’s market or from the farm land on the farm they move to. It includes miles of information on currant environmental issues, information about the food we do and can eat and where it comes from, helpful hints and handy information on gardening/farming and raising livestock, and best of all it also includes recipes. The diversity of the information provided, coupled with humor as well, is what I love about this book. It’s not just informational, like a textbook, but ties it into a real story.

Description from the inside jackets of the book and copy and pasted from Goodreads.com.

“Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver returns with her first nonfiction narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

“As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain.

“Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel. . . .”

Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that’s better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.

“This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew . . . and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air.”

A librarian reccomended it to me and I now reccomend it to you. I thuroughly hope you enjoy and love this book as much as I did and reccomend it to your friends too!

Food: The Power of Purple

It’s a scientifically-proven fact that the darker the food, the higher the antioxidant level. Antioxidants are to the body, the way rust-proof works on a car – they have the ability to mop up free radicals and keep you looking younger, longer. Thus, dark foods with a purple pigment, such as purple onions, concord grapes, purple cabbage, black mission figs, prunes and blackberries, are known for having amazing healing powers.

The purple pigment in all of these fruits and vegetables contain flavonoids, including resveratrol, which can help decrease blood pressure. Resveratrol helps relax the arterial walls, decreases the pressure in the arteries and allows better circulation. Produce with purple hues contain a variety of polyphenols that can reduce the inflammatory response in the body. In my book Meals That Heal Inflammation, I outline how inflammation is at the root of all major diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and immune dysfunction.

Let’s take a deeper look into these dark nutritional superheroes. Here are five reasons to eat more purple foods:

1. Purple foods kill cancer
The resveratrol found in purple grapes, cranberries, blueberries, bilberries, and, of course, red wine and grape juice can inhibit the spread of colorectal cancer in animal studies. Other promising studies also show that resveratrol can induce cancer cell death in cases of prostate, breast, skin, liver, lung and blood cancers. The curcumin in turmeric seems to boost its anti-cancer activity so have a glass of pinot noir (the type of wine highest in resveratrol) next time you have curry.

2. Purple foods are ulcer-fighters
A 2011 study found that anthocyanins from blackberries reduced stomach ulcer formation in rats. Researchers believe this is because the antioxidants in blackberries prevent oxidation and boost the activity of other important antioxidants, such as glutathione, that are naturally present in the body.

3. Purple foods are good for your liver
Black rice, which has more anthocyanins per gram than blueberries, is a delicious antioxidant grain that has been found to reduce damage to the liver incurred by excessive alcohol intake.

4. Purple foods are good for the heart
Black currants can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol by up to 13 percent while raising “good” HDL cholesterol. Black currants and bilberries have more anthocyanins than blueberries. Wild raw berries have higher antioxidant content than fresh raw berries or frozen varieties.

5. Purple foods prevent urinary tract infections
Vegetables such as purple cauliflower, purple carrots and purple cabbage contain the same plant pigment, anthocyanin, that is responsible for the UTI-fighting power of cranberries. Lab studies show that anthocyanin compounds fight H. pylori, the bacteria that promotes stomach ulcers and urinary tract infections.

Source: http://www.chatelaine.com/en/article/36218–five-health-benefits-of-purple-foods

^ found this site through Natural Living Forum on Facebook

Picture Source: http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/805508/the-nutritional-power-of-purple-foods

^ funny, I didn’t know I was getting the image from an article on the exact same thing until I went to get the URL for sourcing it.

Food: Foods That Melt Away The Fat

In case you can’t read the print:

May Issue of Cosmopolitan: 9 Foods That Melt Away Flab!

1. Eggs
Vitamin B12in the yolk helps your body torch fat. Plus, they are super filling and starve off binges.

2. Peanut Butter
Creamy or chunky, it’s a source of magnesium, which powers cells to metabolize energy. efficiently.

3. Avocado
It’s high in craving-quelling “good” fat and rich in L-carnitine, an amino acid that fires up your body’s engine.

4. Sirloin Burger
Made with 90% lean beaf, it’s like pure protein, which takes more energy to digest than fat or carbs.

5. Cheese
Conjugated linoleic acid in dairy helps your body burn fat. Go with a tangy, creamy kind that satisfies your palate.  

6. Pickles
A medium pickle is only 7 calories – you’ll burn more energy digesting this salty, crunchy veggie.

7. Green Tea
It’s teeming with catechins, antioxidants that studies show destroy body fat. Plus, caffeine gives your system a metabolic jump.

8. Yogurt
Regular and low-fat kinds have probiotics, bacteria that may reduce the amount of fat that your body absorbs.

9. Quinoa
Because your body works hard digesting this protein-packed whole grain, you burn off extra calories.”

Source: http://flabby-to-fabulous.tumblr.com/post/27969422320/workout-workhard-loveyourself-may-issue-of

Food: Fresh From the Garden Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Peppers

These are all freshly picked from my Grandpa’s garden today! The tomatoes had to be picked while they were still yellow and green because of the bad Stink Bug problems here in Maryland. My grandpop’s picked some early too and they seem to be doing just fine maturing in his house so our tomatoes should do fine finishing ripening up on the kitchen table by the window. We got Bell peppers, Habanero Chili’s, and Jalapeno Chili Peppers. I can’t wait to eat some of those. As you can see, we also got a TON of Zucchini. It’s a good thing I love it. Just thought I would share the cool pictures.