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GMO n (genetically modified organism) an organism whose genetic material has been altered to include DNA molecules from other sources. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified genes. Also known as GM or GE.

Transgenic organisms are a subset of GMOs. These are organisms inserted with DNA from different species.

Includes animals, food crops, and other foodstuffs.

Currently, the US does not require that these items be labeled.

Organic adj of, relating to, or derived from living matter; food certification includes standards which include:

  • no use of fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, food additives, GMOs, irradiation, or the use of solid or semisolid organic material obtained from treated wastewater, often used as a fertilizer or soil amendment;
  • production on land that has been free from prohibited synthetic chemicals for a number of years;
  • detailed written production and sales records;
  • strict physical separation of organic products from non-certified products;
  • periodic on-site inspections.

In the US,

products made entirely with certified organic ingredients and methods can be labeled “100% organic”;

products with at least 95% organic ingredients can use the word “organic”;

products containing a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, can be labeled “made with organic ingredients”.

These regulations can and are stretched in varying circumstances.

Health and intellect are the two blessings of life. – Menander

Feminine woman, this is your lane.

Pay attention. Protect your health and that of your family.

Fresh Cranberry Compote

recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

1/2 pound fresh cranberries

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups water

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions

Put the cranberries, orange and lemon zest, orange and lemon juice, sugar, vanilla, and 1 1/2 cups of the water in a medium-size nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/2 cup of water and add to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, then stir constantly until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Yield: 2 cups

Thanksgiving thought for today

The more we express our gratitude to God for our blessings, the more he will bring to our mind other blessings. The more we are aware of to be grateful for, the happier we become. – Ezra Taft Benson

According to my grandma, this is one of the most important marks of a woman. And it’s true. A lady of the house is always prepared on the home front.

Stock up on products over time. This way, it’s inexpensive and convenient.

Simple tip – when you normally shop, instead of buying just one or two of an item, also buy one or two extras.

Of the foods that you already eat, are there canned versions? If so, stock up on these.  While maybe not as palatable as fresh, canned goods are a cheap and convenient way of storing food. Pay attention to the label and scrutinize the ingredients. There are tasty and healthy choices available.

For safety, never use cans that are leaking, bulging, cracked, discolored, or emit foul odors.

Rotation

To start, place one item in your cupboard for use and the extras in storage. Make a note of the date of purchase so that you are reminded to use the item before it goes bad. Going forward, older items are for use and newer items are for storage. This way your storage always has the newest items.

This method works for other packaged goods as well. Think of the items that you use often – toothpaste, toilet paper, pasta, rice, etc.

Tips

  • store items that you are already familiar with (eliminate a learning curve)
  • shop sales and use coupons (saves unbelievable money)
  • maintain food storage variety (keeps meals balanced)
  • remember the condiments and spices
  • and don’t forget the pets

The result is that you “shop” from your storage rather than making trips to the supermarket. You end up shopping for what you want rather than immediate needs.

As the lady of the house, you are in charge of your family’s diet. From forming healthy dietary habits that your children will hopefully follow for life to ensuring a healthy and vital old age for yourself and your husband, this is your realm.

And when you do a good job, not only is your family healthy and look and feel great, but you absolutely shine!

10 extremely healthy foods with very easy recipes adapted from NYTimes.com

  1. Beetsbest from July through October Grated Raw Beet Salad
  2. Cabbagepeak season from late fall through winter Jamaican Steamed Cabbage
  3. Swiss Chardbest from June through August Sautéed Swiss Chard
  4. Cinnamonreadily available year round Apple Chips
  5. Pomegranatein season from September through February. (how to seed a pomegranate) Pear and Pomegranate Salad
  6. Prunesbest from May through October Sweet Potato Gratin with Prunes
  7. Pumpkin Seedspumpkins are in season from September through March Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
  8. Turmericreadily available year round Spicy Potatoes and Scrambled Eggs
  9. Blueberriespeak season is summer Lemon Blueberry Cobbler
  10. Pumpkinin season from September through March Gingersnap Crumble Pumpkin Parfait

Caramelized Sweet Potato, Garlic, and Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Angie Phillips

Ingredients:

10 cloves garlic

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices on the diagonal

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces cavatappi pasta (or whichever variety you prefer)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cups half-and-half

2 cups blended, shredded Mozzarella, Parmesan & Smoked Provolone cheese

3/4 cups Asiago cheese, shredded

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped (or if using dried herbs, remember 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary = 1 teaspoon dried)

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs from rustic Italian bread

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes; remove cloves and place in ice water. When cloves have cooled, use a garlic press to press blanched cloves; set aside.

Bring water back to a boil and add sweet potato slices and cook 5 minutes or until tender; drain. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add sweet potatoes and cook, flipping occasionally, until they develop a caramelized crust (about 5 minutes). Dice sweet potatoes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring another large saucepan of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.

In a large pot over low heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium, add in salt and pepper, and, with a wire whisk, gradually add half-and-half. Bring to a boil while continuously stirring. Reduce heat, and then simmer 1 minute. Stir 1 3/4 cup of the blended cheese and 1/2 cup of the Asiago cheese until melted and smooth. Add blanched pressed garlic, diced sweet potatoes, rosemary, minced garlic, and cooked pasta. Stir to combine. Pour into greased casserole dish.

To make topping, combine remaining tablespoon olive oil, breadcrumbs, and the remaining blended and Asiago cheese in a small mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle on top of pasta.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and topping golden brown. Serve.

Yield: 8 servings

Sweet Potato-Pecan Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe courtesy of myrecipes.com

Ingredients:

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, softened

4 large eggs

1 (16-oz.) can mashed sweet potatoes

2/3 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

Garnish: coarsely chopped pecans

Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Place pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan.

Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring once after 4 minutes.

Beat sugar and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.

Whisk together mashed sweet potatoes, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sweet potato mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Fold in toasted pecans. Place foil baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with vegetable cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended; stir in vanilla.

Bake at 350° for 28 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove immediately from pans, and cool 50 minutes to 1 hour or until completely cool. Spread cupcakes evenly with Cream Cheese Frosting. Garnish, if desired.

Yield:  3 cups of frosting and 2 dozen cupcakes

I freakin’ love Okra Stew!

courtesy of southernfood.about.com

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh okra, washed, trimmed, sliced

1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes or 3-4 medium tomatoes, chopped and 2/3 cups tomato juice

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 medium finely chopped onion

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper or 1/2 minced jalapeno

salt and pepper, to taste

Option: add corn and/or meat to taste

Directions

Place sliced okra in pan; cover with water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Drain water and add remaining ingredients. Simmer mixture for 15 to 20 minutes longer, until okra is tender. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve with grits, rice, or cornbread.

Tastes great made ahead, covered and refrigerated.

Yield: 4 servings

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes

Friday = quick and easy 🙂

Ingredients

1 medium tomato  *add more if you like

1 (8 ounce) package of angel hair pasta

1 clove garlic

dried basil or fresh basil leaves, whole or chopped

olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions

1.  Cook pasta until al dente. Drain well.

2. While pasta is cooking, mince the garlic, dice the tomato, and place it all in a bowl. Stir in salt, pepper, oil, and basil to taste.

3. Add drained pasta to the tomato mixture (this warms the mixture) and toss well.

Mangia!

Gazpacho

Recipe courtesy of Moosewood Cookbook

Ingredients

4 cups tomato juice

1/2 cup finely minced onion

1 medium clove garlic, minced

1 medium bell pepper, minced

1 tsp. honey (optional)

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and minced

juice of 1/2 lemon + 1 lime

2 tbsp. wine vinegar

1 tsp. tarragon

1 tsp. basil

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 cup freshly minced parsley

2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil

salt, black pepper, and cayenne – to taste

2 cups freshly diced tomatoes

Directions

Combine all ingredients. Optional: puree all or some. Chill until very cold. Serve.

Yield: 6 servings.