Saturday, May 20, 2017

EAT MORE, WEIGH LESS

 
I learned a fantastic lesson a while back.  I found that by eating more veggies with every meal, I lost weight. I didn't eat less food overall - just more veggies.  The key is to make them yummy.

What happens is that by eating more veggies at meals, I was not so hungry for the other heavier foods or even for sweet desserts.  I truly believe that this is because when the body is getting better nourishment (via veggies), it isn't continuing to trigger a hunger action in the brain.  In other words - when you don't get certain nourishment you think you are still hungry.

By my mid-20s I had normally been a little chunky.  I experienced an epiphany after a long bout of flu -- I decided to try to eat more veggies for my general health.  I realized the reason I didn't eat enough vegetables was because either 1) there weren't many veggie options on the menus at restaurants where I ate; and 2) they usually weren't delicious.

I realized that the first priority is to make veggies at home and make them delicious. Later tackle the restaurant question.

For emergencies keep some celery, cucumbers, and tomatoes on hand. In a pinch you can simply slice cucumbers into big chunks and drizzle with virgin olive oil and a little good quality salt. Or make a quick salad with any combination of the 3 (cucumbers, celery, tomatoes) tossed with your olive oil and salt, adding fresh herbs like parsley, mint, tarragon, oregano.  For cooked green goodness, I will start in this post with a recipe for green veggies that has won fabulous feedback from family and friends.  (Look for additional veggie recipes in posts coming soon) One way to make quick, edible green veggies is to cook them quickly on high heat in a cast iron skillet.
At every family holiday I make broccoli or kale. My young niece requested "Stefanie's Signature Kale" for her birthday dinner.   Wow, that is a compliment. Okay - This is how I do it.

Some cooks like to use a steamer - broccoli and kale only need a minute or two - but I prefer the following method:  I use a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet (mine is a 12 inch) with a lid. These are perfect for some kinds of high heat cooking, quick cooking, and beginner cooks, because they are very durable in high heat. I keep the following recipe simple for starters.  You can get fancy with garlic, onions, or other variations once you get the hang of the basic method.

RECIPE

Monday, January 30, 2017

Green is Gorgeous

One Christmas at dinner, my brother's girlfriend began telling my family about a fabulous kale salad recipe she had found.  As she described the recipe, my family began to smile - everyone recognized my recipe.  She looked around and asked why we were all smiling - my brother broke it to her: "My sister published that recipe years ago."

I began sharing delicious super healthy recipes - some raw, some not - in 2006 and 2007. I knew how healthy kale is, but I am a lazy, impatient cook.  Therefore I came up with a simple and easy kale salad Sometimes, depending on its season, the leaves can be more hard and bitter.  I faced just such an adverse salad at another family dinner for about 20 people.  My kale salad that just wasn't perfect and yummy.  I came up with back up plan.  If you can't get the salad to taste delicious, just throw it in a very hot cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of water and quickly close the lid for 1 minute.  A failed salad can still make a great sautee.

Since I can't say enough about how much better my health and weight have been since I added green veggies to my regular eating habits -- here it is again - My favorite way to prepare kale salad.

RECIPE:
Use the softest kale you can find at the market.  If it is a small bunch or if you are entertaining several guests, use 2 or 3. Sometimes dinosaur kale is softer than curly kale, and sometimes vice-versa. If you can find "siberian kale" it is usually super tender.

Cut any thick portions of stem out of the leaves and rinse them well (more mature kale will have fatter stems than younger plants)  Chop the kale into fairly small pieces.