Thursday, February 09, 2012

Just Beet It

The other day I was watching Doctor Oz (and eating bon bons....HA! Ya right) and he had a guy on there who memorized 52 decks of cards. He is in the Guinness Book of World Records. His memory is impeccable. Guess what his #1 food is for keeping up his memory? The very humble beet. Yes, beets. Apparently beets are recommended to Alzheimer patients as well to help brain power.

This isn't the show I watched but, here's a link to more info about beets:

I really like beets. I always have. Even when I was a little girl I ate them in my salad. Maybe it was their color that did for me but I always really liked them.

There were no fresh beets at the commissary. I should have looked out in town but, I was lazy so I went to the canned food isle (which by the way, I found the large cans of Organic diced tomatoes for $0.30 a can.....REALLY! That was my cheap thrill for the day! I bought what was left on the shelf.) this turned out pretty well. My kids turned their nose up at it....but hey it's beets not ice cream. One day, I hope they will appreciate healthy food on their own. In the mean time, I'm gonna keep trying.

Easy Beet Salad

2 Cans of Beets cut into bite size chunks. (Just boil fresh ones....use the greens too!)
Spinach Leaves roughly chopped (If your using canned)
2 large cloves of garlic (chopped, mashed or crushed)
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste

Place beets, Spinach, and garlic in a medium/large bowl. In a small bowl wisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper. Pour liquid/dressing over beets and toss.

Let this sit a little while before serving. The dressing will help mellow out the fresh garlic.

Yesterday we had this because it was a "Greek" style dinner. It was also Tu B'shevat the Jewish New Year for Trees (Also nicknamed the Jewish Arbor Day or Jewish Earth Day). Because we had record cold here in Germany, Planting a tree was a little bit out of the question. So, I bought an indoor palm. His name is Willard. With the Mediterranean style dinner and Willard "standing watch" it was a nice holiday evening.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, February 06, 2012

Coconut, Banana, Pineapple Smoothie

What to do when it hits -1F outside? Make tropical smoothies of course! Coconut milk is very good. Don't know if there are any health benefits but it's good. This one for sure hit the spot. Last day before my grocery store run so, resources were fairly slim. I had some frozen pineapple in the freezer but no frozen bananas left and the coconut milk in the fridge.....just enough for 2. I'm pretty sure that if a person where to have canned pineapple (drained) and a frozen banana, it quite possibly would have the same effect. YUM.

1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1/2 cup frozen pineapple
2 bananas
ice (about 1/4 cup)

Place them all, except for the water in the blender and liquify that bad boy! It may need to be "pulsed" to get everything smooth. Open up the top and add water slowly until desired consistency. Divide among 2 glasses. Another yummy smoothie that I've tried is a green smoothie. Don't let the name or color fool you. It's pretty good.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 05, 2012

CDC Noodles

Anyone in the military community knows that CDC does not necessary stand for "Center of Disease Control." That would be a pretty freaky name for a meal huh? Actually, CDC in this case stands for "Child Development Center", which is the preschool and daycare located on most large military installations.

Samuel absolutely loves to go to the CDC. I don't have him enrolled yet in preschool. He goes to what's called "hourly care". I try to get him in at regular times (this requires me being on the ball and calling to book 30 days out). One of the things that he loves, surprisingly, is the food there. Like any federally funded operation, the CDC has cafeteria food for their cuisine. Nothing fancy. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that all his peers are there eating, so instead flailing himself down dramatically on the floor declaring, "I HATE that stuff MOMMY!" he's more inclined to acted "civilized".

Samuel these days lives off of macaroni & cheese, milk and air. I bust my butt trying to come up with creative and healthy things for him to eat and it's to no avail. Thank goodness for multivitamins! I'm not proud of my own vanity & jealousy but I still really wonder why he enjoys cafeteria food over my own? My food that's been cooked with my love? Regardless of my feelings though, the "lunch lady" has stolen him away from me. My good friend and neighbor went to pick up her daughter there the other day and spotted him shoveling food into his mouth. He didn't even stop to say goodbye to his friend.

So instead of wallowing in my misery, I decided to take a hint and try to replicate a kind of cafeteria style meal at home. It's basically beef with egg noodles. Nothing fancy to this thing; just the basics:

  • 1 lb. beef (I used flank steak ) cut into bite size pieces or, strips
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots (about 1 carrot)
  • 12 oz. bag of egg noodles
  • 3 Tbsp. Bouillon (I use this at the commissary I think it's $4.99 for a jar) or about 6 cups of broth
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
This is not an exact science by any stretch of the imagination nor is it difficult. For some this may come our too salty. Just add more water next time or, less broth/bouillon.
  1. Heat oil in skillet and brown meat.
  2. Add Bouillon & 5 cups of water/5 cups broth, noodles, & carrots.
  3. Cover and simmer for 7-10 minutes.
  4. With slotted spoon, take out everything in the skillet and place in a large bowl.
  5. There should be some dripping left in the skillet. Put the Tbsp. of flour in the skillet and whisk in the drippings.
  6. Add remaining cup of water and boil/simmer until thick.
  7. Dump all ingredients back into the skillet and stir up.

That's it. My kid wolfs this down. My husband makes sure there is always a lot more... which there is. This feeds 4 very well for one serving and there should be leftovers.

I don' think it's too "unhealthy", but the sodium could be a factor in this. Again, adjust the meal to your taste buds. Since the bouillon that I use is vegetable base, adding a bunch of mushrooms instead of meat could really work in this. I'd do it but family is not fond of the fungi. Also, it's pretty economical and is made in less than 30 minutes. Free of dairy & alcohol.