Salad in a Jar
This is so cool and so easy. Have you been resisting taking a salad for your lunch because you are afraid of sad soggy lettuce or spinach? Maybe it's the leaking container you fear more. The answer to both of these issues is a layered salad created and stored in a mason jar. Yes, there is a method to how you layer your salad. First, mason jar with ring and lid. Then place the wet stuff on the bottom; salad dressing, cucumbers, tomatoes. Then moisture resistant veggies; carrots, mushrooms, peppers. Next up your protein; cut up hard boiled egg, bacon, nuts, beans, cheese. Top with lettuce, spinach, pasta. For some extra spark put crunchy stuff on the very top; croutons.
Not Another Salad
No boredom here. Play with your ingredients. There are so many options I am getting hungry just thinking about them. You can create a different salad for every day of the week. Crazy busy? Create the salads Sunday before you even go to bed. The wet stuff is not playing with the dry stuff until you are ready to eat. Just shake the jar to let all the ingredients play then eat. You can eat it directly out of the jar. If you are more civilized then that, pour it onto a plate and enjoy. This will make your officemates jealous. Trust me.
Check out the posts on Mason Jar Salads on my Facebook page, Shiatsu for Health.
Have you ever noticed a dash of cinnamon in the air can brighten your day. My favorite happy breakfast is cinnamon and sugar on a piece of buttered toast. I'm not talking that pail sugar stuff with barely a fleck of cinnamon. There should be a cloud of cinnamon when you shake your shaker. Yes, I have a cinnamon shaker. Isn't sugar bad for you? Moderation is the key. Plus cinnamon by itself on toast is a little dry. I did some poking around and found that many are using honey instead. Sounds yummy.
Your Health and Cinnamon
There are many health benefits from using cinnamon; balancing blood sugars, antioxidants, reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and reduce inflammation to name a few. Ceylon cinnamon is known as "true cinnamon." Most cinnamon in the grocery stores is cassia cinnamon. If it is available in bulk check to see which it is. Most medical research has been done with cassia. To much can effect your liver. Ceylon cinnamon does not effect your liver.
To much of a good thing is to much.
Sweet and Savory
Cinnamon can be added to your next home made sweet treat or into a savory dish. When making anything with fresh or canned tomatoes a dash of cinnamon can cut the acidic quality and help bring out the other flavors of the dish.
Gifting to You
Everyone sing along, “Merry Christmas to me, Merry Christmas to me.”
What’s this about? I am a firm believer of giving myself a gift on my birthday and Christmas. Why not? Gift yourself something special. Be your own best friend in imagining the perfect gift. What would really put a smile on your face and joy in your heart? What have you been dreaming of?
I’m Dreaming of……travel, hiking in red-rock country (Arizona), painting really big paintings, books full of adventure and aha moments, going to a concert, live theater, laughing until my belly hurts, sparklies on my ears or neck, walking on a warm beach, playing…..
Dreams Come True
When we dream and believe they come true. You may say “I can’t afford….” Plan the trip, make the meals, watch the movies of your future destination. Have fun with it
No matter what holiday you celebrate, remember to “Celebrate You!”
Baby It's Cold Outside
The weather has turned to cold and wet or cold and dry. The wind is cutting across the back of your neck. Your ears are could. Your feet and hands are just not warming up. When are body braces against the cold and damp we lower are ability to fight off the crud being shared around us.
You are not doomed to get sick. There are simple things we can all do. WEAR A HAT. Use those pretty scarfs you have. Gloves are for hands. Put your shorts away and cover those legs.
Warm Inside Out
Drinking a cup of warm tea or hot soup is one of the fastest ways to warm your insides. You get all that yummy goodness to go with it too.
Ginger on Guard
Ginger is a great guard against the crud. If you start to feel sick or have even the littlest sore throat, ginger. Shy away from sugar. It will feel the cold and crud. Making it harder to feel better soon. Feeling a little under the weather? My favorite tea is Gypsy Cold Care by Traditional Medicinal Teas.
Baby its cold out there, stay warm.
The Dorito Effect
Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumber, Kale, Figs, Onions, Zucchini, Oh My!
It is a bumper crop of produce. Have you experienced the ring and run? The doorbell rings and the only things you find sitting on the front stoop is an amazingly large zucchini. What to do?
While some are scared, I delight. What can I make? What new recipe can I try? Should I turn this sweet thing into a savory thing? Can, freeze or dry?
Just got my hands on a new book on preserving the tastes of summer. “Canning preserving+frezzing+drying”, a book/magazine by Better Homes and Garden. An easy guide at only 136 pages of recipes, how to’s and supply lists. Found at your local grocery store check out stand for $9.99.
What’s next? Smokey Ketchup pg. 74, Spicy Barbecue Sauce pg 79. Yes, I have a lot of tomatoes.
Anyone have a good roasted tomato soup recipe?
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb, beans, chard, kale, onions, mushrooms, ‘Oh My’. Last week my husband and I made our first visit to our neighborhood farmers market. We had been on a run so we could only buy what we could carry home. It's great fun to wander the stalls of fresh produce to get inspired for dinner. We came away with small portobello mushrooms, onion and kale to sauté with garlic and olive oil. Then I grabbed strawberries for their wonderful freshness along with rhubarb to make my twist on a date bar. Yum!
This time of year is perfect for trying something new or stocking your freezer with fruit that will bring a smile to your face and spring to your step in the middle of winter. Next time you go to the farmers market talk to your farmer, cheese maker or rancher. Learn a new way to cook with a favorite ingredient or meet a new friend. Be adventurist.
The Hoods Are Here! Run do not walk to your nearest farmers market or natural food store to get your Hoods. Why all the excitement? Yes strawberries are one of the perfect foods. They are famous for being one of nature's richest source of "phenols"! The Hoods are the most juicy amazing flavorful fruit you will ever put in your mouth. Eat them fresh, make frezzer jam or just freez to enjoy during the cold wet winter. Hood Strawberries, the true food of the gods. They are so sweet you will need no sweetener added. Close your eyes, pop one in your mouth and feel blessed.
Pesto is not just made from basil. While I will always have a special place in my heart and in my mouth for pesto basil, I am discovering all the other amazing pestos out there. Imagine waking your tastebuds up with arugula walnut pesto, spinach pesto, pumpkin pesto, zucchini pesto, garlic swiss chard pesto and dill pesto to name a few. Not only will you discover some amazing dishes to make with these pestos, eating your vegetables never tasted so good. I have include the link to all these recipes and more.
“What’s for dinner?” This is the question we hear when we walk in the back door after work even if we live alone. Yes, what is for dinner? Much of the time we have a loose plan or set plan for the night, for the week. Last night was one of those nights I could not think what to make. Little hunger with no inclination. Much of the time my lovely husband is already on a plan. No such luck. From a Chinese medicine standpoint this is an indication of imbalance in one or meridians. I find simplicity is the best approach. Breakfast, scrambled eggs, a piece of toast and a small glass of milk. Simply perfection. How do you make simplicity?
Date Your Beautiful Self
Date your beautiful self. What? Has Tina finally gone crazy? We are a culture of schedules and to do lists. We tell anyone and ourselves who will listen, “I’m to busy to ……..”, fill in the blank. Life is about living, playing and experiencing joy. We can fit a date into our everyday life. Sometimes it just takes a little imagination. Now I love to dance. Yet I don’t go out dancing much. This doesn’t stop me from cranking the stereo, dance like no one is watching and sing off tone. I will admit Mama Mia gets me going every time. Maybe you love opera. Put on your favorite opera or one you have always wanted to hear. Headphone on, close your eyes and imagine you are there. Take a hike in Forest Park or head to the gorge for a hike. Go kayaking, fishing, bowling or play tennis. Go to a museum or gallery of art, train or legos. Has it been a long day? Take a hot bath with a glass of wine, soft music and candles. Have fun. Bring some energy and vitality to your life. Date your beautiful self.
The smell and taste of basil makes me happy. Especially when it is combined with garlic and olive oil, aka fresh pesto. Just a little bit of that on pasta or on some fresh bread. Yum! Add tomato, mozzarella and olives, Double Yum! Talking about this is makes me hungry. Yes, basil is a delicious herb, it also is a powerful antioxidant? It's rich in beta-carotene, which is a more powerful antioxidant than vitamin A and helps prevent cholesterol from getting oxidized in the blood stream — which keeps it from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. Happy and healthy.
Sharing Ina Garten's recipe because she uses more basil. Enjoy!
For a great scientific article about the health benefits of basil, just click here.
We have all heard the tale of carrots helping your vision health, or in my case causing your hair to turn red. Best comeback, carrot tops are green. Stops a mean fourth grader in their tracks. There have been extensive studies suggest that a diet including as little as one carrot per day could conceivably cut the risk of lung cancer by a staggering 50%. In a ten year study in the Netherlands the consumption of 1/4 of a cup of carrots a day had a significantly reduced the chances of cardiovascular disease. The antioxidants in carrots, polyacetylenes are unique phytonutrients made from metabolism of particular fatty acids. Others studies have looked at the benefits of carrot juice in inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells. They are rich in digestive tract-supporting fiber, antioxidant nutrients, and unique phytonutrients like falcarino. We make carrot juice with pears and a dash of lemon juice. Even my 16 year old love this juice.
A couple years ago I was at a little restaurant thats part of Yoga in the Pearl and had the most lushes spicy carrot soup with blanched kale on the side for dipping. Ever since I have been playing around with different recipe that matches with my tastbud memory. Sometimes that first bite of an amazing dish over shadows all future experinces. This is true for the carrot soup. The thick creamyness I have not been able to replicate. Check out the recipies I have included. For those who like more things going on in their soup I included one with lentil. If anyone have one you you dream about post it on my Shiatsu for Health Facebook page or email me so I can post.
For a great scientific article about the health benefits of carrots, just click here.
Remember, if you see a redhead, don't call them carrot top, because carrot tops are green.
I love cashews. They are one of my favorite snacks to boost my energy and keep me from reaching for a cookie. If you are counting calories you may fear their calorie count. An open bag of cashews can be as addictive as potato chips. Measure out and handful or two and eat them one at a time. Really savor the flavor. Remember, cashews have a lower fat content than other nuts, 75% of their fat is a healthy kind called "unsaturated fatty acids". This type of fat is actually good for your heart.
You can mix them with other nuts and dried fruit to make your own trail mix, sprinkle them over your bowl of cereal or and to stir fry.
For a great scientific article about the health benefits of cashews, just click here.
As a kid it was a real special occasion to go to Elmer's or Ferrell's Ice Cream Parlor. This was such a fancy place they put green curly leaves on your plate with the sliced orange. Food with decoration. It wasn't until I was an adult I discovered that green stuff was parsley and you could eat it. My first introduction was tabbouleh. Not only is this a great spring time dishes, it also contains some rare oils that are called "chemoprotective," meaning they counter the effects of many carcinogens - particularly those found in second-hand smoke and smoke-related air pollution.
For a great scientific article about the health benefits of parsley, just click here.
Yesterday I heard a great interview on NPR with Kathy Gunst, resident chef of Here & Now , parsley is so much more than the sum of its sprigs. More Than A Garnish: 6 Great Parsley Recipes
Most of you know bananas are one of nature's best sources of potassium. Did you also know this is crucial for balancing out your sodium intake. So if you have to much salt, make sure you keep your potassium up.
A couple years ago we were in Maui. We had a quest for the best banana bread. The are banana bread stands all over the island. The guide books said you had to go to the narrow road on the west side of the island and they were right. Julie's stand has the most amazing banana bread and the most picturesque spot. Picture a bright green open air shack just above a lush green valley that hugs the coastline, beautiful. The bread is dark, moist and full of flavor. We have not been able to get the recipe just right yet. We call ours "banana lava cake". Oh so good.
For a great scientific article about the health benefits of bananas from Food Matters.
I love soup. There is just something about a good bowl of homemade soup. This time of year it is great to come home from work to a hot bowl of soup cooking in the crock-pot. Especially, if it's cold and raining. Do you have a favorite soup that is your go to? What soup can you not resist on the menu?
Here are our favorite soups; Split Pea with Ham Hock, Minestrone and Mama Leone's Chicken Soup from Elephants Delicatessen. Mama Leone's falls into both categories. The link for the best chicken soup ever is included. I always get extra mom points if I make or buy this soup.
Yes, there is a need to branch out more. Go with what you know then explore.
For a little soup fun, a little Seinfeld.
Don’t reach for that second cup of coffee, reach for tea instead. Now do get me wrong. I love that first cup of coffee in the morning. When it is nice and hot with the steam rolling off it. Recently I am trying to limit my morning routine to one or two cup of really good hot coffee from home. Then when I get to work I make a cup of tea while I’m getting ready for clients. For digestion I have always liked Redzinger made from raspberry bark. If any one in the family or clients start feeling like they are fighting a cold, ginger tea of any kind. Our favorite Gypsy Cold Care by Traditional Medicinal teas. Are you feeling stressed, I go for chamomile with lavender. I saw a presentation that talked about the benefits of several different teas. To help block the absorption of fat, white tea, bilberry for cravings, passion flower for a de-stressor before bed or hawthorn tea if your heart if feeling down.
There is more research out on the benefits of drinking tea. Why tea? Teas are made of herbs and other plants. We use plants as the bases of medicine and in Chinese Medicine they are the medicine. If we look at tea as having medicinal properties, we can choice teas that fit how we feel.
Laugh at Yourself
Laughing is the best medicine. Are you taking yourself and life to seriously? I'm afraid I do more then I want to admit. When was the last time you laughed? I’m talking holding onto your sides with tears in your eyes and for all you women, hoping you don’t pee? Yah it has been awhile for me too. There all kinds of health benefits like reducing blood pressure, decreasing stress hormones and a great abdominal workout. The real benefit is how good you feel. Imagine every cell in your body with a smiley face on it. So, have some fun and laugh.
Friday Night Comedy, BBC Radio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mR2I4ZoqpMIThis one might be slightly questionable, Who’s Line is it Anyway
Flue and Cold Season
Have you notice, it flue and cold season. We all know people who have already succumb to illness already. It is never a good time to be sick. Yet, who want to be sick during the holidays? Most of us are running around baking, shopping and going to events. We may be sleeping and working out less while eating and drinking more. Being prepared is the best thing you can do for you and everyone you are in contact with. Many of you get the flue shot. This is great particularly if you are older, I’m not naming names, have a compromised immune system or work with kids or the elderly. Yet there are always flues you are not protected from and the cold is cold. Having a “flue and cold season” survival kit, supplies.
Things to keep on hand:
Chicken Soup, yes it is one of the best things for you. You can buy your favorite brand or make a big batch and freeze
Drink Hot Liquid
Hot water with lemon and honey
Tea; ‘Gypsy Cold Care’ tea by Traditional Medicinal is are favorite
Gargle with salted water
Ginger; put it in your soup, tea or suck on a slice.
Cold compress on your sinuses, warm compress or heating pad on sore muscles
What’s in your survival kit?
This weekend marks the first holiday party of the season. I always look forward to hanging out with friends I haven’t seen since the summer gathering. Swapping tales of adventures (life with teenagers), telling stories on our selves and hopefully laughing about it.
To reduce the “what to bring” stress we have a “go to” dish. It doesn’t matter if the party is at our house or if we are going out. Many times the host/hostess requests it. So the key is to make something fun and easy to make.
I’ll share my recipe as long as you don’t bring it to a party we are both going to.
Our dish is smoked salmon, with capers, thin sliced red onion, creamy goat cheese, maybe some tasty olives and sliced baguette on a salmon plate. Yum! It is easy to make and we can keep the ingredients on had for the next party.
Do you have a “go to” dish? Will you share?
Thanksgiving is over and now we are in the holiday season. This can be a stressful time for many of us. The "to do" list has gotten longer and "have to" list has gotten even longer. This stress can impact how you feel in your body and how well you respond to others. Take a moment to breath. Did you know that when we give to others it decreases our stress hormones? Yes, we have all given a gift to someone that did not go off as we planned. I'm talking about the kind of giving that comes with no strings, no obligations.
Do you have any family traditions around giving? It could be cookie backing for your neighbors, sharing your pantry with one of the food drives or helping out in other ways. One of our family traditions is going to one of the "Giving Tree" located at the malls. The tree is decorated with gift tags for boys and girls. The tags include the age of the person and the type of gift they would like. An example, boy 14-16 yrs old would like outdoor/camping equipment. It may include shoe size along with pant and shirt size. Each member in our family picks a tag and then we go shopping. I really enjoy finding the perfect gift for the child or adult. There are toy drives, coat drives, hat and glove drives at offices, banks, grocery stores, community centers, senior centers, hospitals and religious centers. Check out what is going on in your community. What speaks to your heart? Give a gift. It will put a smile on your face and warm your heart.
Thoughts are Food
We must feed our bodies to sustain us. There can also be such joy in eating something that makes us slowdown to savor the flavors. My hope with the "Food for Thought" has been inspiration and education. There are two key ideas behind where I want to go with these posts. One is about food and the adventure of going outside of our comfort zone. Thought is the second component of this phrase. This has more to do about how thought feed our brains and our souls. So I am asking you what food gives you pause and what thought feed you? Then lets share with each other here. My first contribution to this new direction is "Cooking a Meal from Every Country" by Sasha Martin. She is one of the featured individuals in Chris Guillabeau's new book, "The Happiness of Pursuit." FYI he will be in Portland in a few weeks at Powell"s bookstore.
Sasha went on a quest in her kitchen and her life to cook a meal from every country. Over three years each week she would learn about a country. Its people, the culture and their food. Then she would cook a meal that her picky young daughter and her "what is an eggplant" husband. This adventure became one of food and thought. It connected her with people in her community who where from around the world and brought the world to her. The link below will tell her story and connect you to some amazing stories and recipes.
Eat your Veggies
Are you scared of veggies on your plate? Does the color green make you groan? The next person that mentions kale.....? Will leave it at that. We have all heard, mothers and doctors say, "eat your veggies." We might be guilty of saying it ourselves. Most of us adults should be eating more vegetables. Now I am not going to suggest you go vegetarian or go on a raw diet. That is up to you if that is right for you. Yet there are only so many salads and stir fried we can do. For the last year or so we have tried to have "Meatless Monday" on our schedule. Trying to increase the diversity of flavors, combining grains, beans and yes kale into our dishes. Today I decide to provide a list of vegetarian cookbooks for the meat eater. Who knows, maybe we will add another night or two of "meatless" meals to our schedule.
The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores Will Devour, by Kim Odonnel
Meatless, by Martha Stewart
Huckleberries are called by many as the tastiest blueberry. For me there is a tartness that backs be think of hiking In the mountains of the northwest. This time of year is the best time to find yourself having a huckleberry snack on your hike. What a way to brighten a bowl of instant oatmeal on a backpacking trip. If that sounds to adventurist for you plan a day hike in berry country. A hard issued water bottle will back sure you bring home berries and not juice. You can use in any dish you would use blueberries. The health benefits include vit. C and vit. B. Both great for a healthy immune system. They also contain iron which is important to the development of red blood cells.
This time of year you see people parked on The side of the road picking blackberries. While I love the juiciness of the fruit and I love gleaning for free fruit, choice wisely where you pick. The exhaust fumes can negatively impact the fruit and you. So for the best antioxidants and fiber find a quiet patch away from the road or in a friends backyard. Taste the late summer days with blackberry smothies, over some ice cream or make a small batch of jam.
Coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk, shredded coconut everywhere you look. The health benefits of coconut are pretty amazing. Its high in fiber, supplying 61% dietary fiber. With diabetes on the rise the low glycemic index of coconut is only 35 compared to honey at 55-83 and sugar of 65-100. You can replace sugar with coconut crystal in your recipes.
A great cookbook I have just added to my wish list, “Coconut Every Day: Cooking with Nature’s Miracle Superfood” by Sasha Seymour.
Did you know that shrimp are an excellent source of the trace mineral "selenium"? Numerous scientific studies have found that selenium causes DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells. Not only that, but it actively helps to curb the growth of cancer cells, and even causes them to self-destruct. I think grilling is the easiest and tastiest way to cook your shrimp. Looking at the pictures of grilled shrimp makes me hungry. Found a great one from Giada De Laurentiis. Give it a try.
For a great scientific article about the health benefits of shrimp, just click here.
This year I have a bumper crop of marionberries in my backyard. These berries are food from the gods and Oregon State University and George F Waldo in 1945. The sweet tartness is so flavorful you can’t help eating them off the vine. We put them in and on anything we can think of; smoothies, fruit salad, cereal, pancakes, yogurt, scones, jam, crisps, pies and freeze for the winter months. You get the picture. Marionberries also have one of the highest levels antioxidants. So get yourself to the farmers market. If you have a little plot of sunny ground, plant some yourself. They are very easy to grow and maintain.
Monster Mash Marionberry Compote
Great over Mahi Mahi
Created by Scott Walker of Seattle
Marinate mahi mahi
¼ C - Soy Sauce
1 T - Sesame Oil
1 T - Garlic
1 Pint - Marionberries, Mashed
1 T - Minced Cilantro
1 T - Minced Lemon Basil
1 T - Minced Garlic (elephant garlic if you have it)
2 - Finely Sliced Green Onions, green portion only
1 T - Honey
1 T - Brown Sugar
1 ½ T - Olive Oil
1 T - Balsamic Vinegar, go light at first, taste and add for “zing”
Wearing purple clothing only
This week the weather turned hot. Did you feel parched inside and out? The only thing that really sounded good was watermelon. Instinctively I knew it would do the trick. Watermelon is 90% water making it a thirst quencher. It has shown to help reduce aches and pains in athletes. This includes weekend warriors and garden slayers. Compounds in watermelon including flavonoids, carotenoids, and triterpenoids. Making this the fruit a choice for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits.
In case you didn't already know, spelt is a grain that can be found at most health-food stores either in its pure form, ground as flour or baked into bread. Spelt is an ancient grain with a nutty flavor. It's extremely high in riboflavin (vitamin B2), and shown to be effective at reducing the frequency of migraine headaches in people who get them.
For a great scientific article about the health benefits of spelt check out this article from “The Kitchen”.
Strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, beans, chard, kale, onions, mushrooms, ‘Oh My’. Yesterday during lunch I went to the Portland farmers market. I was so excited to see so many tasty treats. Wondering around with $6 in my wallet. What to buy, that I could eat right away. Standing in front of a stand with all my favorite fruits the juicy strawberries called to me. Bought a pint for $3 and happily ate them all on my way back to the office. What a wonderful treat. We are very lucky in the Portland area to be able to go at least one farmers market every day of the week. This time of year is perfect for stocking your freezer with fruit that will bring a smile to your face and spring to your step in the middle of winter. Next time you go to the farmers market talk to your farmer, cheese maker or rancher. Learn a new way to cook with a favorite ingredient or meet a new friend. Be adventurist. Play with your food.
Next time you're looking for salad ideas, consider using some crimini mushrooms. Crimini mushrooms are unusually high in zinc, and if one mineral was singled out for its beneficial impact on your immune system, zinc would be the winner.
For a great scientific article about the health benefits of crimini mushrooms, just click here.
If you know any kids who have any kind of respiratory issues, some kiwi fruit might help them breathe a little easier. A scientific study conducted in Italy showed that children who had diets high in kiwi fruit were less likely to have respiratory-related health problems. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, polyphenols and potassium providing protect to the blood vessels and heart.
My favorite way to eat kiwi fruit is straight up with a spoon. I think I will go get some of those tasty little guys now.
If you have a latex allergy, you may be allergic to these kiwi fruit. They contain substances called compounds that are associated with latex-fruit allergy syndrome.
Check out the scientific article detailing the health benefits of kiwi fruit, just please check this out.
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