"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Mediterranean Diet and Your Oral Health #Guest Post #Healthy Eating #Weekly Menu Plan

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smiling face



Guest Post written by Melanie Decker of Top Dentist and Everyday Health.

The Mediterranean diet has been shown to be heart healthy and a waistline slimmer. What most people don’t know is that many of the key components of the Mediterranean diet benefit your oral health as well. Those with good oral health decrease their risk of developing harmful gum diseases like periodontal disease, which has been linked to heart disease and stroke. So with the Mediterranean diet you’re basically killing two birds with one stone!

Some of the key components of the Mediterranean diet that help improve oral health are:

1. Fish and seafood, especially salmon, containing vitamin D that helps your body absorb calcium. Besides fish, egg yolks also include vitamin D.

2. Olive Oil is a great source of vitamin A, iron and calcium. Some of you may have not known that! Vitamin A helps maintain healthy teeth and also serves as an antioxidant while calcium helps build strong teeth to help maintain the tooth enamel. Iron helps your body produce hemoglobin to transport oxygen throughout the body and aid in tissue repair, including mouth sores.

3. Nuts, specifically Brazil nuts and almonds are great sources of calcium. Calcium, like mentioned above, helps promote strong teeth, and it also is the component that holds teeth and bones together to maintain sturdiness. Cheese and yogurt are also calcium-rich foods in the Mediterranean diet.

4. Fruits and vegetables like green bell peppers, tomatoes and oranges contain vitamin C to help prevent inflammation as well as fight off cancers. Vitamin C is especially shown to reduce your risk of oral cancers. 

The Mediterranean diet is a wonderful healthy lifestyle that still incorporates flavorful foods without limiting too much, like other popular diets. Heart and mouth healthy, the Mediterranean diet is the way to go!


Weekly Menu Plan:


Sunday:  Orzotto & Peas

Meatless Monday: Mushroom & Egg on Brioche 

Tuesday: Chicken Garam Masala with Indian Rice


Thursday: Pizza out for family.





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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Carrot Chickpea Soup #Foodie Friday

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I got the worst cold... it has been going on forever. It may be allergies too. I need to heal... vitamin A and C have been calling me and the answer I got back was carrot soup. I wanted to make this a complete meal, so I added protein rich chickpeas to the puree and a little bit of Indian spice. The result was a rich and filling nutritious meal that everyone in the family loved.


Carrot Chickpea Soup

by Diane Balch
simplelivingandeating.com
Preparation time: 20 minutes                           Serves: 4 - 6

Ingredients:

2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil for sautéing 
1 onion chopped
3 celery sticks chopped
1.5 pounds or so of carrots chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger chopped
1/4 teaspoon of Garam Masala spice mix
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
6 cups of vegetable broth
1 can of chickpeas


Directions:

1) Heat oil in a large sauce pan on medium high. 

2) Saute onions and celery. When they begin to wilt add the carrots. After a few minutes add ginger, garam masala, rosemary and salt and pepper. 

3) When vegetables are all wilted and beginning to brown turn heat to high and add vegetable broth and chickpeas. Bring the soup to a boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. The longer you can let it sit the better.

4) Before serving puree the soup with an immersion blender or in small batches in a blender. Check salt and pepper to taste. A dollop of yogurt or sour cream is nice on top of this soup. Serve with crusty bread, naan, pita, or over basmati rice. 




Remember to visit and follow my co-host Adelina at Home Maid Simple she has different features and a wealth of information about family and home care. 

Foodie Friday Features:

From: Food Done Light


Apricot Chicken Tagine
Apricot Chicken Tagine
So many wonderful bright flavors happening in this exotic Moroccan Dish...
 PS: You don't have to own a tagine. I've made these dishes in a dutch oven no problem.


From: i heart eating

Black Bean Lasagna
Black Bean Lasagna
This dish is a fantastic alternative to traditional lasagna, plus its vegetarian and gluten-free.


From: Domesblissity

Streusel Papaya Yoghurt Cake
Streusel Papaya Yoghurt Cake
Great story about food and papaya back in the day in Australia, plus a unique dessert. 


This post is shared on the following wonderful food/craft parties. Be sure  to check them out:

Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ Premeditated Leftovers
Tempt my Tummy @Blessed with Grace
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Traditional Tuesdays @ Cooking Traditional Foods
Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ SS& GS
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
Hand Made Tuesday @ Ladybug Blessings
Share it Link Party @ Winthrop Chronicles
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Wednesday Food:
Wholesome Foods Wednesday @ This Chick Can Cook
Cast Party Wednesday @ Lady Behind the Curtain 
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Show and Share @ Semi Homemade Mom
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Seasonal Celebration @ Natural Mother's Network
Wednesday Extravaganza @ Hunger Little Girl
Thursday Food:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Link it Up Thursday @ Seven Alive
Fantastic Thursday @ Three Little Chiefs
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch

Friday Food:
Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Freedom Friday @ My Turn
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Not Your Ordinary Recipes
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Friday Food Fight @ Run DMT
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Friday Food Frenzy @ Mostly Food and Crafts 
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 


                                   Instructions for Foodie Friday linky:

This is a food party please link up only 3 food related posts. Thank you. 

Click on at least 3 other recipes.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE PARTY HOSTS:  BY EMAIL OR RSS... 

or FRIEND ME ON FACEBOOK

SPREAD THE WORD: PIN, FB, TWEET ETC... this party. It is good for you and me.


1) Copy the Foodie Friday Button's html from this website's sidebar.
2) Paste this html to the html page of the recipe you want to link to Foodie Friday. You can also make a word link or post our button on your sidebar.   Please link back.
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By posting in this party you are giving this blog permission to reprint (with a link to your post) in recipe roundups and featured posts any recipes/articles you share with us.





Swiss Chard Pancakes #French Fridays with Dorie

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Swiss Chard pancake? Sounds weird right... yeah, but 
you've eaten Zucchini pancakes? Haven't you? I have all of my life. I guess it is just what you are familiar with...

This is what I love about being a member of French Fridays with Dorie her recipes always seem to push us all out of our comfort zone... sometimes I venture and other times... like last week, and the week before I just went rogue. 

I'll admit I didn't follow Dorie's directions exactly, but only because I knew I would make a mess. She wanted us to mix the batter in our food processor and add the swiss chard to the batter, possibly in batches if our food processor didn't have a really large capacity.

I just pureed the swiss chard with the onions, scallions, and chives and hand beat the batter. I mixed the pureed into the batter... simple and neat.

When I told my kids we were going to have pancakes for dinner they had visions of chocolate chips and maple syrup... 

"Chard,... seriously." my teenage son said, "Whatever." But he ate them and my daughter said, "These are strangely good." 

Yes, I have to agree they were "strangely good." Strange, only because I never had such a combination of ingredients in a pancake before.

We had fun experimenting with the toppings. We tried: Creme Fraiche as Dorie recommended, but also a chili spiced mustard, a Trader Joe's Red Pepper Spread, Thai Sweet Red Chili and some Sriacha Chili sauce. They all worked really well with this very adaptable pancake.

I can envision this recipe being great for using up wilting greens. You can easily substitute spinach, collard greens, escarole, etc. for the swiss chard.

I am adding this simple, healthy and delicious recipe to my regular repertoire  ... bravo Dorie!


Click here for Swiss Chard Pancake Recipe

Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 


 




Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ Premeditated Leftovers
Tempt my Tummy @Blessed with Grace
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Traditional Tuesdays @ Cooking Traditional Foods
Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ SS& GS
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
Hand Made Tuesday @ Ladybug Blessings
Share it Link Party @ Winthrop Chronicles
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More

Wednesday Food:
Wholesome Foods Wednesday @ This Chick Can Cook
Cast Party Wednesday @ Lady Behind the Curtain 
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Show and Share @ Semi Homemade Mom
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Seasonal Celebration @ Natural Mother's Network
Wednesday Extravaganza @ Hunger Little Girl

Thursday Food:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Link it Up Thursday @ Seven Alive
Fantastic Thursday @ Three Little Chiefs
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch

Friday Food:
Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Freedom Friday @ My Turn
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Not Your Ordinary Recipes
Friday Favorite Finds @ Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Friday Food Fight @ Run DMT
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Friday Food Frenzy @ Mostly Food and Crafts 
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spend time in Nature #Earth Day #Simple Living in Practice

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Spring Woods
Spring Woods

Earth Day was this Monday and I hope you not only decide to do your part to take care of the earth, but that you got yourself out into nature and enjoy the earth.

Why spend time in the woods?

1) Spending time in nature is relaxing. It lowers your blood pressure and gives your brain a break from the fast pace of our technological life that moves at a gazillion bytes per second. 

2) Spending time in nature is  aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes if I look really closely at a flower, or a leaf, and when I really LOOK at the design and detail of it: I am in awe. We cannot make anything artificially that truly compares to the wonder of natural design.

3) Spending time in nature is healthy. I mentioned that it lowers your blood pressure; well, it also improves your immune system. Being in the woods can raise your white blood cell count. The smell of greens, the sunlight, the calming sounds all contribute to an overall healing effect on your body.

4) Spending time in nature is fun. When I've walked around a track I would get bored and give up exercising. I walk in the woods now, sometimes for over an hour, and I don't even realize how much I've exercised because it is so much fun to explore the sights and sounds along the trail. If you don't have woods in your area, get yourself over to a park. When I lived in NYC I found walking in Central Park to be just as interesting, sometimes a lot more, than walking on a trail in the woods.

5) Spending time in nature is good for your soul.  If you are quiet and mindful as you explore nature it will talk to your being. It will help inspire your spirituality, whatever your personal belief system is... it will be enhanced by the time you spend in the glory of the natural world. 

This post is shared on:

motivational monday


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Monday, April 22, 2013

Eating in Harmony with the Planet #Healthy Eating #Weekly Menu Plan

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Healthy Harmonious Lunch
Healthy Earth Friendly Lunch

Happy Earth Day!

This blog is subtitled, "Simple Living, Healthy Eating with the Mediterranean Diet." Eating the Mediterranean diet is very earth friendly. It is low in animal products. The production of meat and dairy is very polluting to the environment. It requires more resources to produce meat, cheese, and milk than the if the same amount of land was used to grown fruits and vegetables.

So how do you eat in an environmentally conscious way?

Eat low on the food chain. Fill your plate with mostly fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and beans. Eat vegetarian as often as possible. Use dairy and meat sparingly, don't make these items the center of your meal. Make them a small part, a beef stir fry vs a steak dinner. You will be healthier and thinner if you eat this way too. It also costs a lot less to not buy expensive dairy and meat.

Buy Organic. With the money you save eating less meat and dairy you can afford to buy organic produce which does not pollute the earth and our precise fresh water supplies like pesticide ladened commercial produce. I really have the same, actually a little lower, food bill as my friends who eat meat daily and don't buy organic. The trade off is well worth it for your health and the planet's health.

Buy only what you need. American's throw out 40% of the food they buy. My guess... economy buying. Yeah, the cost per item is lower when you buy a larger amount, but where is the savings if you only end up throwing it away?


Compost your waste. Keep valuable feed for your garden out of the trash where it can't break down properly and return it's nutrients to the soil. Take a look at my post on Simple Home Composting it is not really hard to do and you will be shocked by your trash reduction.   


Weekly Menu Plan:


Sunday: Scarole & Beans


Meatless Monday:  Swiss Chard Pancakes


Tuesday: Low fat hot dogs, Sauerkraut, Baked Beans

Wednesday: Frittata with leftover veggies, rustic homemade bread

Thursday: Trader Joe's Chili, Cornbread, Salad

Friday: Brown Butter Sole, Quinoa, Green Beans

Saturday: Sushi Take Out



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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dirt Cake: Happy Earth Day 2013! #Foodie Friday

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Dirt Cake
Dirt Cake

Happy Earth Day! You can't have a celebration without a cake, right? 

When my son was about 3 years old and I would say to him we are going to go to a party. He would reply, "Will there be cake? No, cake...no go!"
I couldn't really argue with him... I would say most of us in our hearts would agree.

Well, here is my version of a dirt cake. It is almost as much fun to make as it is to eat.

Dirt Cake

by Diane Balch
simplelivingeating.com

Ingredients:

1 vanilla cake mix or your favorite recipe 
1 5 ounce bag of gummy worms

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to time specified on cake mix directions. Grease a 9x12" baking dish.

2) Mix up cake mix according to directions.

3) In a food processor turn Oreo cookies to large crumbs. 

4) Mix cookie crumbs and gummy worms with batter. 

5) Pour mixture into baking dish. Make sure gummy worms are spread out. 

6) Bake according to cake baking directions.



Remember to visit and follow my co-host Adelina at Home Maid Simple she has different features and a wealth of information about family and home care. 


Foodie Friday Features:


From: Half Baked Harvest

Spring Vegetable Lo Mein
Spring Vegetable Lo Mein

A really great idea to remember is to change your vegetables for your recipes to use what is in season.


From: Make Mine Lemon

quick pickles
Quick Pickles 


There is a lot of research today that is saying eating fermented food on a regular basis is good for your immune system. So grab yourself a fresh made pickle.


From: Mamacook

Orzotto: Pearl Barley Risotto
Orzotto: Pearl Barley Risotto

Pearl Barley is a very nutritious grain that would be great to add to your diet. This risotto is a delicious way to do just that.


This post is shared on the following wonderful food/craft parties. Be sure  to check them out:

Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ Premeditated Leftovers
Tempt my Tummy @Blessed with Grace
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Traditional Tuesdays @ Cooking Traditional Foods
Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ SS& GS
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
Hand Made Tuesday @ Ladybug Blessings
Share it Link Party @ Winthrop Chronicles
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Wednesday Food:
What's Cooking Wednesday @ Confessions of Overworked Mom
Wholesome Foods Wednesday @ This Chick Can Cook
Cast Party Wednesday @ Lady Behind the Curtain 
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Recipe Box @ Bizzy Bakes
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Show and Share @ Semi Homemade Mom
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Seasonal Celebration @ Natural Mother's Network
Wednesday Extravaganza @ Hunger Little Girl
Thursday Food:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Link it Up Thursday @ Seven Alive
Fantastic Thursday @ Three Little Chiefs
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch

Friday Food:
Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Freedom Friday @ My Turn
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Not Your Ordinary Recipes
Friday Favorite Finds @ Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Friday Food Fight @ Run DMT
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Friday Food Frenzy @ Mostly Food and Crafts 
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 




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