Category Archives: Ethical treatment

Going Meatless: Black Bean Soup

Hot on the tails of new research indicating that red meat’s precarious nutritional profile deserves a closer inspection, I choose beans.

The research conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health reviewed 20 studies to discover that salt found in heavily processed meats such as bacon, sausage and hot dogs, rather than saturated fat or cholesterol,  may be the more convincing factor when it comes to heart disease risk:

“…the researchers found that daily consumption of about two ounces of processed meat was associated with a 42% increased risk of heart disease and a 19% heightened chance of diabetes. By contrast, a four-ounce daily serving of red meat from beef, hamburger, pork, lamb or game wasn’t linked to any increased risk of heart disease.”

Hm. This definitely isn’t the green light to eat a hamburger every night; just a reality check in the decision tree of food choices.  Essentially this research confirms that fresh, whole, minimally-processed foods are sound choices for optimal health – meat included.   Yet the fact remains that eating less meat remains a healthful, environmentally-savvy, and even money-saving resolution.  The folks at Meatless Monday are helping others achieve this goal and the Washington Post reports that it’s really started to catch on.  The Cheap Healthy Good blog has “10 Ways to Eat Less Meat” for those looking for inspiration — my favorite tip is to not eat meat before dinner, which is very realistic for me, especially when I have this Black Bean Soup on hand. Continue reading

Outside the Zone: Baby Bok Choy with Garlic and Ginger

With a day job that has little relevance to my skill set and education, I’m often operating outside of my comfort zone.  At the end of each work week, you can always tell just how far I’ve traveled by looking at my fingernails; the more chewed and ragged, the more challenge faced.  My nails aren’t looking so hot right now – I know some R&R is needed.

Of course I don’t find expanding outside of my culinary comfort zone quite as taxing.  (Plus, my hands are kept busy so that I can’t torment my nails.)  This week, I experimented with organic baby bok choy from Lancaster Farm Fresh that I picked up at the Piazza Market.  Lancaster Farm Fresh is a non-profit cooperative of 64 farmers in Lancaster County Pennsylvania.  They serve Eastern PA up to New York City and sell certified organic produce and pasture-raised animal products.  The cooperative also supports farmers that use environmentally friendly Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices.  This means no pesticides; an important point following the recent release of a government report suggesting that industrial chemicals in our environment are making Americans sick.  Check out the New York Times coverage of this story… it really makes you think. Continue reading

Recipe for the Restless: Tortilla-Crusted Sweet Sausage and Asparagus Quiche

I love magazines.  The arrangement of condensed narratives is perfect for me; I fall asleep after reading 10 pages of a novel and I have a penchant for sleeping in any moving vehicle.  Coincidentally, I also have a restless personality, leading to a near-obnoxious multitasking on most days of the week, even Sundays, the so-called Day of Rest.  In fact, in the time it’s taken to write this post, I will have done two loads of laundry, organized a year’s worth of Condo Association’s activities, and reviewed a dozen or so web sites to find a recipe for rhubarb.  And then made a Rhubarb-Apple Crumble (recipe forthcoming).  And today is Sunday.

I subscribe to several magazines, and although I packed a couple to read over vacation, I was instantly drawn to a new title sitting on the kitchen counter at our host’s house in Chapel Hill, Everyday with Rachel Ray.  A week without cooking and minimal access to the Food Network meant a magazine packed with recipes from a comfort-food queen would have to fill the void.  With asparagus now in season and the omnipresent eggs in my refrigerator thanks to Greensgrow Farms CSA, Everyday’s recipe for Tortilla-Crusted Goat Cheese and Asparagus Quiche was right up my alley.

Conveniently, asparagus showed up in my CSA this weekend (continue reading after the recipe for more information on my local food finds).  While the original recipe is meatless, I decided to add some sausage to make sure I wasn’t the only one eating this for brunch.  Our neighborhood farmer’s market abounds with humanely-raised meats so it’s hard to pass the temptation knowing J’s preferences.  I substituted a fresh green pepper for the mushrooms to maintain the recipe’s vegetable quota and to keep hubby happy Continue reading

Food Buzz: Rockin’ the Twitter Feed

Toscana Kale post forthcoming- couldn't resist the picture.

Social media has certainly got a hold on me.  It’s a blessing and a curse for a tireless multi-tasker like myself, looking to stay current and maintain lively dinner conversation by digesting as many news stories as possible throughout the day.  “Tweeting” has officially made this purpose entirely too easy.  By subscribing to such reliable news sources as the Wall Street Journal and NPR Health, I receive text intranet messages as soon as the site posts or “tweets” them.   With the ability to pick your subscriptions, you can tailor the tweets to meet your curiosity and interests.  I also subscribe to some local and national entities that focus on sustainable food practices to keep this blog fresh.  Here’s what’s been showing up in my Twitter feed that may be of interest to CC&T readers: Continue reading