Fed Up with Diet By Advertising

I found this article on My Sisters Pantry blog. It is a pretty great blog, but I just love this article. The blog is offering great tips and information about cutting the sugar in your diet. Do you ever look at labels? Check out the label on that ‘healthy’ yogurt next time and see how much sugar is in there. My family is sensitive to sugar. Too much sugar is not good for anyone and food companies hide it everywhere! Watch the video for the #FedUp campaign, get informed and get crackin. Lucy, we (me) gots some work to do!

my sister's pantry

Sugar – looks pretty innocent, doesn’t it?

In honor of the release of Fed Up, a documentary about the power of sugar in our food supply, I’ve decided to take another look at my own (and my children’s sugar intake), and to remind myself WHY I would still be concerned about it.

This documentary, and most of what I’ve read about sugar and processed food in the last 10 year,s leads me to the conclusion that I cannot trust food manufacturers with my health. (See Salt, Sugar, Fat for more about that.) And it seems to me that there is often an inverse relationship between the amount of packaging and readiness and the healthfulness of the actual item. There are, of course, exceptions in the “natural foods” category. I can purchase prepared foods with less sugar, fewer chemicals, but these items ARE exceptions.

I don’t particularly want to build a…

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Roasted Tomato Salad Dressing

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I usually eat Salads for lunch. I find them filling and dynamic. Nothing I hate more than eating the same thing day after day after day, unless it incorporates bacon and cheese. Unfortunately, those two things are not on my healthy eating plan. (*pout*)

One way to change things up in a salad is to change up the ingredients. Recently, Ive been all about red peppers, cucumbers, and tuna or chicken. But another way to change up the taste of the salad is to change the salad dressing.

Historically, I love blue cheese dressing, another no-no in the new eating plan. So I rotate usually between italian or a drizzle of balsamic with olive oil. The cafeteria in my building has recently started offering a Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette. I am in LOVE! The tomatoes lend a creamy and hearty substance to the vinaigrette and just taste good. So, I have scoured the web and found the following recipe that looks extraordinarily promising. Im going to make this this weekend.

via the For the Love of Cooking website:

Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette:
Recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net
Inspired by Mingo

Drizzle of olive oil
8-9 small vine ripened tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cloves of garlic, skins on
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil then coat with cooking spray.
Slice the tomatoes in half then place them on the baking sheet; put the two cloves of garlic (leave the skins on) in the center of the tomatoes.

Place into the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, remove the skin from the garlic cloves and place into a bowl along with the roasted tomatoes.

Add the olive oil, canola oil, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, fresh basil, and sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Mix using a emulsion blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and re season if needed. Set aside and let the flavors mingle for at least 30 minutes before using.

Individual Greenhouses for your Garden

***A repost for those of you who are planning a garden***

I love fresh vegetables, and I grew up with a vegetable garden and there is nothing better than a vine ripened tomatoes picked fresh and made into bruschetta or some other yummy food.  Our family started its first vegetable garden to introduce the older kids to healthy eating.  It was great when the realized how food was grown and they actually wanted to try the tomatoes and the zucchini. The chocolate zucchini cake was a hit, the tomatoes were not.   So we keep trying.

Since we live in the Pacific Northwest and our summers are finicky.  I have friends who have migrated from California or Texas and they bemoan the fact we can ski until March and wear hoodies until July. So, it helps to have a green house or a cold frame to give your plants a healthy head start.

I, however, have 3 small boys to raise. Which means they would break any cold-frame, accidentally of course, and I can’t afford a green house. (Their feet never seem to stop growing!).  So, I came up with another, much cheaper idea after visiting Williamsburg with family. According to the period actors, the settlers used glass bells over plants as miniature green houses. I don’t want breakable glass around the kids and the food, so we used Milk  Jugs. Yes, Milk jugs. We go through a gallon of milk a week and have plenty of them around.  Its easy. Cut the bottom of the milk jug off, leave the cap on the top.  The plants get their water from the surrounding ground.  And, the milk jugs let light through while heating the surrounding air, to encourage growth.

As the garden grows, watch for more posts.  The first round of spinach is about ready to be harvested!

Broccoli Salad

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Summertime is a time for salads and I keep getting requests for this one, so I thought I’d share. This is an adaption if a recipe I found in an old, old family cookbook. Enjoy!

3 Fresh Broccoli Florets, shredded
3C Shredded Cheese (we like the Cheddar/ Monterey Jack blend)
8-12 strips of Bacon, cooked crisp and chopped (but not burned)
1large Yellow or Sweet Onion chopped fine
1C Craisens (dried cranberries)
1/2C Mayonnaise
1/3C White Vinegar
2TBS Sugar
1tsp corse Ground Pepper

Combine all Broccoli, Onion, Bacon, Cheese and Craisens in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. I’m second bowl, mix the mayo, vinegar, sugar and pepper. Spoon over the broccoli mixture until evenly incorporated. Cover and set in the fridge for at least an hour before eating.

-HINTS:
1) When shredding the broccoli, cut the heads off the florets into same size. Put into food processor and pulse until you have desired size. (see example of finished salad below) Do the same with the stems, no waste here!

2. The dressing for the salad will soak into the broccoli and the favors will meld the longer it sits. If you have leftovers, you might want to have some extra mix setting aside. Reserve about 3TBS of mix, if you plan in leftovers, to add back the next day. The mix usually soaks in after 24hrs.

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This is great! Once the zucchini from the garden is ready to be harvested, its on!