I recently heard New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark on The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC. She did an awesome segment on how to make delicious, creative lunches out of your leftovers and fielded questions that listeners called in with. I don’t pack my lunch right now as often as I used to since I work from home most days, but I still got a lot out of her tips and ideas, inspiring me to make a lovely stir-fry dinner that was just as good—if not better—eaten for lunch the next day.
One thing I love about stir-fry is how adaptable it is. Like a favorite pair of dark-wash jeans, you can dress it up or down. Okay, time for me to get into lame metaphor territory. Here’s the recipe:
- 1 tsp coconut oil (more if your skillet isn’t non-stick)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, minced
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 container sliced white or shiitake mushrooms (1 lb?)
- asparagus spears, sliced into small pieces
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- cooked tempeh (optional, but a great source of protein if you don’t want/have any chicken, egg, tofu, edamame, shrimp, etc)
- lower-sodium soy sauce to taste
- 1/2-1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
- Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger. Cook a few minutes, until fragrant.
- Add cabbage and asparagus. Cook until cabbage begins to soften and add mushrooms.
- Cook until mushrooms are soft. Add red pepper flakes and stir.
- Stir in tempeh and rice. Season with soy sauce and sesame oil (if using)
This recipe was posted as part of the Weekend Kitchen Creations link party. Stop by to check out what other bloggers are cooking this weekend!
Do you like leftovers for lunch? What are some of your favorite foods to eat again the next day?
Do you ever read a book that kind of knocks your thinking sideways? A few years ago, David Kessler’s The End of Overeating blew my mind in the way it discussed the “engineering” of junk food. It was fascinating—and a bit terrifying—to learn about the way food companies play with the sugar, fat, and salt content of products to find that sweet spot that will make a product practically irresistible to consumers. It’s important to take into consideration the kinds of flavor chemistry the average person is up against when it comes to making healthful food choices. Knowing what appeals to you and why can help you figure out how to navigate your cravings.
A lot of people have been talking about this article from the New York Times Magazine which explores this “Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food” and features interviews with people who have worked in the industry. It’s definitely worth a read—and worth sharing.
Are there any foods you find irresistible? What do you think of food companies “engineering” their products?
I love chia seeds in oatmeal
Those of you who have been with me a while know that I love chia seeds. I still remember the “aha!” moment where I realized I’d found a new staple. I really dig the texture, and the omega 3′s, fiber, and other health benefits don’t suck either. Since then, chia seeds have been a more or less daily thing in some form or other.
The New York Times just ran a piece about my favorite little seed. Check it out.
Do you eat chia seeds?
In this past weekend’s New York Times Sunday Review, Mark Bittman shared what his ideal food label would look like.
Under this system, packaged foods would bear a color-coded bar with a numerical score on the front, allowing the consumer to tell right away if the product’s overall rating falls between 11 and 15 (green), 6 and 10 (yellow) or 0 and 5 (red).There would also be a box to indicate whether there are any GMOs. The three factors the ratings would be based upon would be “Nutrition,” “Foodness” (how close it is to real food), and “Welfare” (related to “the treatment of workers, animals and the earth”).
I think I like it.
You can read more about Bittman’s dream label and the though process behind it here.
What do you think of this label idea? What would your dream food label have on it?
Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend! I’m still pretty fried, but my apartment is looking great and already feels like home. Naturally, the kitchen was one of the first things I set up, and I’ve already made some nice things there. I still have to clean the oven, though, before I feel like it’s ready to be used…
I did find time to get cleaned up and go out to dinner on Saturday night. I’m so glad it’s sundress weather. There really is nothing like enjoying a meal outside on a warm summer evening.
A meal one of my friends made—delicious
While I love going out to restaurants and sharing meals at friends’ homes, I always dread that moment where I have to bring up the Tree Nuts Thing. Over the past year it’s gotten easier, but it still makes me cringe a bit. I’m not used to being someone with a dietary restriction, and I’m always afraid I’ll be asked for proof or told, “If you have your epi pen, you’ll be fine.”
Anyway, on Sunday morning, I came across this article in the New York Times about how people deal with dietary restrictions when cooking with or for friends. I remember having a great time hosting a vegetarian, gluten-free dinner party last spring, and I do enjoy the challenge of coming up with something delicious that people with particular restrictions can eat. I’ve also been that guest who RSVPs with, “Hey, just wanted to give you a heads up/let me know if I can bring anything.”
Do you have any food restrictions you need to share when dining out? Do you enjoy cooking for others with restrictions or feel more inclined to let them bring their own food?
In this Sunday’s New York Times Review section, Frank Bruni responds to Bloomberg’s proposed ban on sales of large portion sizes of sugary drinks. In his essay, “Trimming a Fat City,” Bruni, who has written about his own struggles with weight and his relationship to food, makes a case for the ban. It’s definitely worth a read!
Good morning! I don’t know about you, but I’m so happy the weekend is here. For better or worse, I’m a morning person—always have been, always will be (oh, genetics). In the past, this has proved somewhat crazy-making for people I’ve dated, so I’ve added “not worrying about waking up a sleeping boy/man/friend-thing” to the list of why being single is awesome.
oats w/ chia seeds, pear, cottage cheese & Trader Joe's fig butter
One of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday morning is to exercise (today included the elliptical machine and some arms & abs work) and then make a nice breakfast. Reading the paper over oatmeal and coffee never gets old for me, especially if Car Talk happens to be on the radio. I don’t even have a car, but I love this show! I know, I know, but hey, we all have our little quirks…
What are you up to this weekend? Any favorite morning rituals?
Vegetables help you get more for less
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard myself say, “I don’t want to be the weight-loss police,” but nearly all areas of dietetics involve weight management to some degree, as a healthy body weight is a key component of overall wellness. Understanding a variety of approaches so you can help your patients and clients figure out what works for them is important.
My supervisor definitely keeps me on my toes by brining up current research and health news. She’s also lent me several books she likes. At the moment, I’m halfway through Dean Ornish’s Eat More, Weigh Less.
The title makes me cringe a little, but it’s a book I’d be comfortable recommending to someone looking to improve their health through diet. Even though I do no not agree with the recommendation of eating only 10 percent of calories from fat (though, for some people, this may appropriate), I like the emphasis on plant-based foods and the idea that you can—and should—eat lots of fruits and vegetables, which add flavor and volume but not a lot of calories or fat.
A few recent studies, discussed in the New York Times earlier this week, support the idea that filling up on certain foods (hot red pepper was looked at in one study) may help people satisfy hunger and control caloric intake. Adding pureed vegetables to foods was also shown to aid in reducing calories (key to weight-loss) by bulking up meals and increasing vegetable intake. Win-win!
This week is flying by—I feel like the only time I’ve been able to sit down has been in class! I’ve been relying on Tupperware a lot…Good thing millet, tofu, and roasted veggies taste just as good cold as they do hot! Cooking ahead so I don’t have to stress is one of the usual ways I preserve my sanity during hectic times.
One of the places I found myself rushing to was a little more fun than the usual class-work-volunteer grind—I went to see My Morning Jacket last night at Terminal 5 and actually had enough energy to stay until the bitter end. Check out the debris.
I have a really big day tomorrow that involves both my cleaning up nice (heels and all) and a midterm, but I’m really looking forward to getting noodles with my sister for lunch! I need to do some exploring in the realm of all things ramen here in NYC—how convenient that the Times just ran a piece about that very topic this week!
You’ll love this slideshow of New York Times readers’ photos of things their kids like to eat. Some of the dishes are even somewhat healthy!
"Farina Mess" with sprinkles; submitted by Nurit Asnash of Bellevue, Wash
Though kids aren’t on the agenda for a long, long time, sometimes I do wonder how I’d try to foster an appreciation for tasty healthy food while also working with the realities of things like preferences and aversions.
Perhaps my mom could say how true this actually is, but I remember always digging vegetables. My sister and I used to beg for rampion because it was in a Rapunzel video we loved. I can only hope my offspring would be halfway as enthusiastic about leafy greens as we were.