We spent Mother’s Day a little differently this year. My family and I spent the evening at a local farm planting 150 herb seedlings. It felt good to dig in the earth, watch the warm sun set over the vast Kansas prairie, and spend some truly quality time with my husband and daughter.
We left MG Honor Farms with a promise to return and lend our hands to the tomato harvest, and with a lot of fresh greens and veggies. Clint Brauer built the farm on his late grandmother’s land as an homage to her memory. As well, to serve the people of our community, saying, “MGHonor Farms was created to help those who have realized their true priorities, have an option to purchase healthy food for themselves and their families without any herbicides and only organically certified pesticides.”
Every community deserves a resource like this.
The next evening we enjoyed the fresh spring greens and crisp kale in a salad that paid us well for our hard work the night before and reminded us of a promise to enjoy this summer more than any other. Escaping from the confines of winter, a big entree salad that is light and satisfying always feels so refreshing on these warmer days. That’s exactly what we made. (more…)
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., TheBestLife.com lead nutritionist
As a trim, chic couple passes me on the street, I hear snatches of their conversation—in French. The other night at a restaurant, I heard Italian coming from a nearby table of three generations: healthy children, parents and grandparents. Living in Washington, D.C., with all the embassies and international organizations, I wind up hearing many different languages. When I recognize one, I do a quick—and surreptitious—assessment of the speaker’s body weight. My amateur research findings, corroborated by legitimate studies, are that in most other countries, people are at healthier weights than Americans. For instance, our obesity rate is 3.5 times that of France’s.
I’ve pumped my international friends—all of whom are at a healthy body weight—for their secrets. No matter where they come from, there is one strategy they all share: They respect the concept of mealtimes. They eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, with little to no snacking in between. (more…)
Like a lot of moms, working or otherwise, dinner is one of the most complicated parts of my day. I’m a dedicated meal planner, and more times than not it saves me. But there are nights, like this one, where the wheels fall off. It happens to the best of us. My initial reaction was, “there’s nothing in the house.” Somewhat true, I haven’t yet been to the grocery store this week. We all use this excuse, but honestly, we all have so much stuff stockpiled in our pantries and freezers that it’s more likely we’re just not interested in figuring something out with the puzzle pieces of cans and frozen veggies.
Tonight, I challenged myself to make something delicious and satisfying with nothing more than what we had on hand.
I served my family grilled BBQ marinated chicken with a black bean and corn salsa and honey rosemary mashed sweet potatoes. Not entirely complementary by culinary standards, but it received rave reviews by way of spotless plates.
It started with the chicken. Our local Amish butcher shop has wonderful chicken breasts marinated in BBQ spices. I use this chicken to make our BBQ Chicken Tacos with Avocado Coleslaw. My husband had the foresight to pull two pieces out of the freezer this morning. So this was where I started. The unseasonably warm weather meant I got to fire up the grill! (more…)
The world has watched either in awe or in horror as Katie Holmes and six-year-old daughter Suri eat their way through restaurants of every genre and price point. While she and her daughter have private chauffeurs and don the cover of tabloid magazines, the duo aren’t unlike many Americans. Katie is a newly divorced mom with a hectic career and a daughter she dotes on. While Katie can seemingly give young Suri anything she wants, a home cooked meal isn’t one of them.
“I’m a terrible cook,” she told Us Weekly. That would explain the revolving door of restaurant excursions for the new New Yorkers. Katie paints a devastating picture of piles of pans and burned food that would make anyone want to grab a take-out menu. But maybe Katie, and a lot of moms like her who also feel overwhelmed with this domestic duty, should take a step back, breathe, and get a little help.
Cooking doesn’t have to be overwhelming, hard, or tragic. With a few simple ingredients, a little patience with yourself, and some thoughtful planning, there isn’t any reason you can’t make one of these easy dinners in your home. We think Katie could pull these dishes off too if she wanted to. Besides, she could enlist Suri to help for one more mother-daughter bonding moment.
Provencal Beef Stew
It might sound fancy, but it’s perfect for novice cooks thanks to the slow cooker. With this tool the meal practically cooks itself. You do some minor chopping of lean beef, onions, mushrooms, and carrots, and use some basic herbs and spices from your pantry. When you return six hours later you’ll find a ready-to-eat meal. (more…)
Now that the weather is turning cooler, I can’t stop thinking about big hearty dinners. You know, the kind that feel like they stick to your bones and make you feel satisfied from head to toe. I’m talking big pots of stew and chili – my favorite winter foods.
This year, I decided to kick off fall with something just as bold, but a little more fun. Why shouldn’t red beans and rice be part of this list of robust meals? It’s as big and bad as they are, and maybe even more delicious.
I, as usual, make a few adjustments to a traditional recipe to boost the nutrition, save the calories, and let myself enjoy a piping-hot bowl guilt free.
Cooking from scratch is a thrill for me; I don’t mind the extra steps. So I start with dry kidney beans and soak them overnight. I’m old school like that. (more…)