Archive for April, 2008

Ingredient of the Month: Beans!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

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beans, originally uploaded by foodietots.

Beans are truly a superfood, promising to lower cholesterol, balance blood sugars and fight cancer. Not to mention the protein, fiber and folic acid boost they provide. Organic, low-sodium canned beans are readily available that make it easy to incorporate beans into your family’s diet. The main downside to using canned over dried is the added sodium, so be sure to rinse your beans thoroughly to remove some of the excess salt – this also reportedly helps remove the gas-causing element. Adding garlic or ginger to your beans is also supposed to aid digestion. I’m still struggling to overcome a childhood aversion to black beans, so for this series of experiments I started with the milder cannellini and garbanzo beans. If anyone has a favorite black bean recipe to share, please pass it on!

For more on using canned beans, including additional recipes, check out this Green Guide article.

At Market: Honey Mushrooms

Monday, April 14th, 2008

honey mushrooms, pa., originally uploaded by foodietots.

Our local farmers’ market kicked off the ’08 season this past weekend. Now that the toddler isn’t up by 6am in the mornings, we weren’t there when they opened and missed the first spring asparagus. But, our cheese guy Tom was there – he brings the creamiest Jersey cow’s milk yogurt, great cheeses and Amish baked goods fresh from Pennsylvania. And we picked up a pint of these lovely little honey mushrooms, also from Pa. I sauteed them with onion in olive oil and butter and tossed with the fresh chive pappardelle pasta from our cheese shop (see pic below). Served along side the fresh, cut-to-order beef filet from our brand new butcher shop. Rounded out our fresh & local dinner with challah from the bakery.

Needless to say, we love our neighborhood!


So long, Salmon…

Monday, April 14th, 2008

whole foods frozen salmon, originally uploaded by foodietots.

No sooner had I selected salmon as my March ingredient, than I began to read the scary news of the threatened Chinook salmon run in California. Sure enough, last week came the official notice that salmon season is closed for the year. Apparently oblivious to the irony, Governor Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency over the situation – never mind that while there is plenty of blame to go around, it is indisputable that the states’ diversion of water to farm land and Southern California is a significant factor. Last year for the toddler’s west coast birthday party, on the Oregon coast, we had grilled fish tacos with Coho salmon caught fresh that morning. Best and freshest fish I’ve ever tasted – also endangered and facing fishing limits this year.

Over at SurelyYouNest, MamaBird shares her dilemma over ordering fish when dining out. I usually order salmon, which is my favorite but also easily identified as wild. For a more thorough guide to which types of fish are safe to eat, now that even Alaskan salmon is going to be available in limited quantities and much more costly, see this handy guide from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. (We got the pocket-reference in our DVD of Happy Feet – which I thought was a clever tie-in.) You can even bookmark the mobile site on your PDA to access it while you shop!

(And please, please don’t be tempted to eat farmed salmon! Off my soap-box now…)

Up next, first market report of the season, and the April ingredient, beans!

friday finds: organic jungle tees

Friday, April 11th, 2008

organic monkey, originally uploaded by foodietots.

Cute organic cotton tees at H&M for under $10 – picked up the green monkey shirt for the toddler.

spring break

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

FoodieTots is off for the week due to day-job and travel … new ingredient next week!