Saturday, October 20, 2012

Agave vs. Sugar Substiutuions

I get emails from Xagave every twice in a while, and I thought you might find this reference helpful.

Food Category
Amount of Xagave
vs. Sugar
Calories Saved
(per cup basis)
Beverages (lemonade,
powdered beverages such as
Kool-Aid, etc.)
Use 1/2 to 2/3 cup of Xagave for
each cup of sugar (or 50% to
66% of the amount called for)
180 to 330 calories per cup
savings (23% to 42%)
Cooking (sauces, salad
dressings, etc.)
Use 1/2 cup of Xagave for each
cup of sugar (or 50% of the
amount called for)
330 calories per cup savings
Baking (cakes, brownies,
cookies, etc.)
Use 2/3 cup of Xagave for each
cup of sugar (or 66% of the
amount called for)
180 calories per cup savings
Canning (canned fruits,
jams, jellies, etc.
Use 1/2 cup of Xagave for each
cup of sugar (or 50% of the
amount called for)
330 calories per cup savings

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Recipe!

I know, I have been off-the-ball about new recipes for a long time. Sorry. Pregnancy, bedrest...excuses, excuses.
But that bedrest gave me lots of time on Pinterest and looking for new recipes for when I could cook again. :) Zucchini season has been on and we've had lots to use. I have really been wanting to make this recipe, but my energy and ability by the time dinner starts rolling around has been low. I told my mom about the recipe and she actually ended up making it, and we loved it! Thanks. Mom.

One word of warning, if you don't like thyme, maybe you should try a different spice in its place. I am thinking about trying a few different ones. If you do, please post back and let us know how it goes.  We served this over rice (and made more of it) and it was good for a main dish for our family.

This recipe comes from Budget Bytes. Lovely, Isn't it? The formatting won't be as pretty, I'm afraid. I'm going to copy and paste the recipe. Here you go!

Summer Vegetable Tian

Vegetable Tian 

I like to enjoy vegetables and their natural subtle flavors. I'm not all for frying or smothering with thick, rich sauces... but sometimes, I want something a little more. This vegetable tian lands half way between both worlds. The vegetables are sliced thin, seasoned only with a little salt, pepper, and thyme and then topped with just a small amount of flavorful cheese. Roasting the vegetables magnifies their flavor and gives them just a hint of sweetness. It's veggie-tastic.

Creamy cheeses work really well with this dish but I happened to have a four cheese Italian blend on hand so I used that.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 medium zucchini
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium potato
1 medium tomato
1 tsp dried thyme
to taste salt & pepper
1 cup shredded Italian cheese

STEP 1: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Finely dice the onion and mince the garlic. Saute both in a skillet with olive oil until softened (about five minutes).

STEP 2: While the onion and garlic are sauteing, thinly slice the rest of the vegetables.

STEP 3: Spray the inside of an 8x8 square or round baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread the softened onion and garlic in the bottom of the dish. Place the thinly sliced vegetables in the baking dish vertically, in an alternating pattern. Sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and thyme.

STEP 4: Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, top with cheese and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On Picky Eaters...(No matter the age)

I liked this article from Nourished Kitchen.

How do you transform a picky eater?

How do you transform a picky eater? First, you have to change their mindset.  The mindset has to become I’m capable of learning to like new foods, instead of I’m a picky eater.  Once the mindset shift has occurred, thoughts will change.
Your child may start thinking, I don’t really like scrambled eggs, but hardboiled eggs are okay.  Once their thoughts about the hated food start changing, their actions change too, scrambled eggs are for breakfast, I’ll try them. Then as they are eating those eggs they’ve consistently rejected they think, huh, these eggs are actually not so bad, I could eat another bite.  After experimentation with eggs prepared in different ways, plus a mindset shift, this leads to a change in results.  Your child used to avoid scrambled eggs, but now (s)he’s found a way to like them.
This shift in mindset takes place over time.  My picky eating recovery took over a decade.  That makes sense to me because my picky eating mindset took nearly two decades to cement in my brain.  Only it wasn’t really cemented, because in less than a decade I completely reversed it, without a how-to manual.  I figured it out for myself because I liked the way I felt when I ate real, nourishing food. As I began to learn that food made in a factory (some of my favorites were Cheetos in the red bag, M&Ms, Mrs Baird’s white bread and Ritz crackers) made me feel gross, I had a strong motivation to kick my food aversions to the curb.

Picky eaters come in all shapes and sizes.

As the granddaughter of a farmer, garden grown vegetables were normal at dinner table, so I ate (most) of them.  Yes, you can still be a picky eater, even if you eat a dozen different vegetables.  Textures and combinations were the things I was averse to.  I hated the dry crumbly mouth-feel of raw carrots and nuts. They made me gag.  I didn’t like sauces or anything with sauces on them, including spaghetti!  To appease me, my mom served spaghetti like a salad bar: noodles, meat, sauce, Parmesan all in separate bowls.  I liked the red sauce, but only a little of it.  I needed control to “mix” my own food using my own ratio preferences.
I grew up thinking I didn’t like nuts.  False.  My favorite food was PB&J sandwich or even better, peanut butter on Ritz crackers (with cheese or bananas, I could eat the whole roll of Ritz).  When I think back on it, it doesn’t even make sense.  How did my parents believe or convince me that I didn’t like nuts?  I just didn’t like raw or whole nuts, but smooth creamy nut butter was yummy.
For texture and combination adverse kids it’s important to distinguish the rejection of the preparation versus the rejection of the ingredient.  A raw broccoli hater may love cooked broccoli.  I will not eat raw broccoli (read: crumbly mouth-feel.)  However, blanch it for one minute, toss it in an ice-bath, and give me a tasty dip like this avocado chevre recipe and I could eat the whole bunch.
Studies show that dietary habits formed in childhood are likely to persist into adulthood.  But I’m a good case in point that it’s never too late to overcome picky eating.  Of course it’s optimal to form good eating habits in early childhood.  Learning from the get-go is a far more elegant solution than unlearning and retraining.  We’ve all heard of people who have lost their ability to walk due to an accident and then learn to walk again.  Our minds are plastic. Assuming healthy brain function, older children and adults are capable of learning as young children do.

Learning feeding skills is a process not an event.

Just like reading, good eating skills develop over time, with daily practice. Why do our kids learn to read?  Because they are read to at an early age, then practice daily at school for years, moving up level by level.  Finally as competent readers they maintain their skills by daily practice.  Even if you don’t pick up a book every day, you still see signage with language on it that you must read.  So it is with food. We fuel our body daily with food.  There are ample opportunities to practice good eating skills throughout childhood.  Once kids are literate at proper food fueling, they can maintain their daily practice throughout life to maintain wellness.
So picky moms and dads, I challenge you to learn good eating habits right along with your kids.  Change your mindset, and help your children change theirs.  Think of them as good eaters, call them good eaters, expect them to be good eaters, and they will eventually grow into their new label.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


My good friend sent me this blog article. It is about how things, even healthy eating, can become idols in our lives. I thought it was very nice. Here's my favorite quote:

"Eating healthy will not guarantee my family a more peaceful longer life. It will not add a single day to my life than God has already determined. Only God knows the number of my days. (Psalms 139:16) He calls me to be faithful to care for my physical body, and this includes being wise in what I put into my body, knowing that it will affect my ability to serve the Lord; but when I raise that to a god-level, it is no longer a good thing. My security must only be found in Christ. He controls my family’s health and wellness."

Here's the link to the whole thing, if you like.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

On Gardening

I really can't recommend this video highly enough. Even if you don't have a garden. WATCH IT! It's amazing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thanks, Mom.

My mom sent this to me. Test-tube hamburger. coming to your table soon!


Monday, February 13, 2012