Simple Eggs Recipe: Spanish Tortilla With Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette

by | Sep 30, 2009
spanish-tortilla1

Spanish Tortilla

I’m super excited to announce that Danny Jauregui is sharing one of his recipes today at Summer Tomato.

Danny is a Los Angeles based food blogger. You can read his recipes on Over The Hill And On A Roll, and his food photography and blogging tips on Food Bloggers Unite!

Definitely visit Danny’s blogs and check out his incredible food photography, you’ll be blown away.

I’ve always wanted to learn how to make a Spanish tortilla and had no idea it was this easy. But now I seriously want to get that cast-iron skillet I’ve had my eye on….

Spanish Tortilla With Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette

by Danny Jauregui

Spanish tortillas are my go-to dinner when I’ve had a rough workday. I love that you can take two healthy ingredients and easily create a mouth-watering dish. A Spanish tortilla is a bit like an omelette, only much easier to make. Thinly sliced potatoes are sautéed with onions at which point eggs are added and cooked until done.

Sliced like a pie, the Spanish eat a tortilla at room temperature with a light salad, which is my preferred way of enjoying it. I also like to serve it for brunch parties, just for a touch of variety.

In this version, I add Mexican flavors by including chopped cilantro and a Chipotle-Lime vinaigrette. Filled with nutrients and bursting with familiar flavors, I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Simple Potato and Egg Spanish Tortilla

spanish-tortilla2Ingredients:

6 Eggs

1 Large Potato, thinly sliced

½ Large Yellow Onion, thinly sliced into rings

1 ½ Tablespoons Olive Oil

½ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Pepper

¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro

Directions

Slice potato and onions into thin slices. The exact size is not important. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom pan or preferably a cast-iron skillet. Wait for olive oil to almost begin smoking and add the onions and potatoes. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper. With a wooden spoon stir potatoes and onions to coat in oil, lower the heat to medium and cook until they are soft, stirring occasionally, for a total cooking time of 5 minutes.

While potatoes are cooking combine the eggs and cilantro in a bowl and lightly whisk together. When potatoes are done, make sure they are lying as flat as possible in the pan and add the egg mixture. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until most of the egg on the bottom is thoroughly cooked. The top of the tortilla will not be cooked and should look runny.

Turn the broiler of your oven on, remove pan from burner and carefully place under broiler for 2 minutes, or until the top is slightly golden brown. Eggs cook fast, so keep your eye on the broiler. (If you don’t have a broiler simply place a cover on the pan and continue cooking on medium heat until top is solid and not runny).

Once top is brown, remove from broiler and let cool for 10 minutes. At this point you can slice it straight out of the pan, or flip it like I did. To flip, run a knife around the edge of the tortilla to loosen, place a plate upside down on top of the pan and flip the whole thing over. The tortilla should release easily.

Add some sliced avocado and your favorite salsa to really spruce this meal up, or make this Chipotle-Lime vinaigrette like I did.

The Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette adds a nice smoky and acidic note to the boldness of the potato and egg. Delish!

Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Adobo Sauce from a Chipotle Pepper Can

2 1/2 Tablespoons Lime Juice

¼ Teaspoon Salt

Adobo sauce is the smoky sauce that is included in Chipotle peppers. If you want a bit of spice, take half a Chipotle pepper and chop it super fine and add to vinaigrette.

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Drizzle vinaigrette onto sliced tortilla.

What flavors do you pair with a Spanish tortilla?

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BlogHer Food ’09

by | Sep 27, 2009

BHFood09MastheadPostRather than my usual farmers market adventure on Saturday I attended the BlogHer Food conference here in San Francisco. But don’t panic. I still have plenty of kale and other greens from the Mission Bay farmers market last Wednesday (I knew this was coming). If I need more vegetables I’ll make a run over to Bi-Rite Market in a few days.

The BlogHer Food conference was fantastic and I met some incredible foodies and bloggers. The food we were served though was, um, not so incredible. But I don’t want to be too harsh on them since whatever they were lacking in vegetables, they totally made up for with chocolate.

I came home with a sizable bag full of Scharffen Berger chocolate bars (and some Massa Organics brown rice!). But the food highlights were definitely at the after party where Elizabeth Faulkner of Citizen Cake served my favorite After Midnight cakes and Foodzie had piles of delicious treats and confections. (The lighting in there was non-existent, so you’ll have to use your imaginations to visualize them.)

It’s not normally my style to eat nothing but dessert all day, but somehow I think I’ll survive. As you can imagine though I am very much looking forward to eating healthy for the rest of the week!

I’d also like to give some shout outs to some of the awesome people I met.

Check out their blogs and tell them I say hi!

If I missed anyone please leave your links in the comments!

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For The Love of Food

by | Sep 25, 2009
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

I’m pleased to inform you that I became an official blogger at The Huffington Post this week. My first article there was my interview with David Kessler, Learning to Eat Less: How Understanding Your Brain Can Make You Healthier. I hope to post many of my best articles there in the coming months, usually in the Living section.

Publication at Synapse has also resumed, though I have stepped down as the official science editor to focus on Summer Tomato and (ah hem) finish my lab work.

I’m also excited to announce the creation of the Summer Tomato monthly newsletter! The newsletter will include new content that is not posted here on the blog, and will feature Summer Tomato news, healthy eating tips and recipes. Newsletter subscribers will also have access to exclusive offers and discounts on future Summer Tomato material. Exciting, right?!

newsletter-form

Don’t forget to confirm your subscription by clicking the link in the confirmation email.

If you are wary of entering your email address, rest assured I will never sell or exchange your information and you can unsubscribe anytime. Consider this my personal spam-free guarantee. The main purpose of the newsletter is to reward loyal readers with great tips to upgrade your healthstyle. Feel free to email me any time if you are unhappy with Summer Tomato material.

This week around the web there were some interesting articles about the cholesterol-heart disease hypothesis, which you may be surprised to hear is not particularly strong. These stories may renew your interest in my post last week on How to raise your HDL cholesterol. There are also a few pieces on the role of the brain in eating behavior, which I am becoming more and more interested in (shocking, I know).

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For complete reading lists join me on the social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you there. (Note: If you want a follow back on Twitter introduce yourself with an @ message).

I also invite you to submit your own best food and health articles for next week’s For The Love of Food, just drop me an email using the contact form. I am also accepting guest posts at Summer Tomato for any awesome healthstyle tips and recipes you’d like to share.

This post is an open thread. Share your thoughts, writing (links welcome!) and delicious healthy meals of the week in the comments below.

For The Love of Food

What great stuff did you read and write this week?

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How I Lost 20 Pounds In 9 Months Without Dieting

by | Sep 23, 2009
Quarter Pounder

Quarter Pounder

Today one of my best and oldest friends, David Goodman, shares his remarkable story of how he dropped 20 pounds this year so far “without hardly trying.”

He says the influence I’ve had on him through conversations and articles here at Summer Tomato has helped him make better food choices almost subconsciously.

David and I have a long diet history together (he’s the friend from college I mention in the link), and I am honored to have him share his success story with you. Though he says he is only beginning his journey, I think we can all agree he has made tremendous progress already.

Congratulations Dave!

Dr. Darya: Or how I learned to stop worrying about my weight and love food

And drop 20 lbs in nine months.

by David Goodman

In December of 2008 I weighed 225 lbs. As of yesterday, I weigh 205 lbs.

It’s actually hard for me to view this as a big accomplishment. I have been planning to lose a lot more weight. (My goal is to weigh closer to 165 lbs). But the funny part is that while I have been “planning” to lose all this weight, I have, as Darya pointed out, lost a significant amount. And I have lost it, I can assure you, without being on a diet.

Darya told me that this was exactly the kind of weight loss she believed people could achieve by following her advice. She also reminded me that if I kept up this same pace every nine months, it wouldn’t be that long until I reached my goal. And significantly, I certainly won’t be gaining more weight, which is often the trend for people as they get older.

When Darya asked me to think about how I lost these 20 lbs, the reason was hard to pinpoint. Because it hadn’t occurred rapidly, and because I didn’t actively try to lose weight with a restrictive diet, it was almost like it didn’t “count.” Also, because I haven’t reached my ultimate goal, I don’t really feel like a success story just yet.

On the other hand, losing weight without trying is pretty awesome. And if this weight loss keeps up and stays off, I’ll be right where I want to be in 18 months.

So how did this happen, you ask? As far as I can tell, it went like this:

Darya and I have been talking about food for the past year. I have never been much of a cook and I ate out for most of my meals. I think I was eating fast food about 5-10 times a week.

As I talked to Darya and read her blog, I found myself thinking more and more about “good” food. In fact, without really meaning to I started categorizing food into two groups: “real” food and “crap” food. From what I could tell, simply put, real food grows in the ground, or eats food that grows in the ground. Crap food is made in laboratories and/or mass produced. It is fried or filled with sugar or both.

At first my categorizing food as crap didn’t really stop me from eating it. I was used to my routines and didn’t think about actively changing. Talking and thinking about health, nutrition, and good food made me want to behave differently, but I figured I would need to make major life changes to accomplish that, and I hadn’t gotten around to it yet. This is what I meant when I was “planning” to lose weight.

But I think it was hard to read and talk about healthy food and not incorporate some of that into my life. Slowly, without realizing it, I just started eating green vegetables more often. I definitely put more nuts, fish, and brown rice into my diet too. I don’t think I was eating those foods very much at all before I started talking to Darya about healthy food.

(Read more: Get Fit By Becoming A Food Geek)

Most of all, I stopped eating fast food so much and started making more meals at home. This happened so gradually that it is hard to remember the exact chain of events. Nine months ago it was 5-10 times a week for fast food. These days I usually go more than a week without having it at all. Last week I only had fast food once (I had a cheeseburger at In-N-Out. Sorry Darya, but in my defense, I was pretty drunk).

(Read more: Don’t Eat This, Don’t Eat That: Why Fast Food Is Never Healthy)

My eating is still far from perfect. I could do a lot better on the size of my portions and I still eat crap food from time to time. Also, to reach my ultimate goal of 165 lbs I think I am going to have to start exercising more. During the last nine months the most I did was go walking a few times a week. My gym attendance was inconsistent at best. But I think what my experience really shows is that gradual progress is possible with a few basic, common sense changes to what we eat.

Also, the food that I have been making and eating at home has been delicious. I don’t miss the crap food that I haven’t been eating and I look forward to the fresh, healthy food that I’ve been preparing.

Maybe this losing weight thing doesn’t have to be so hard. Maybe it’s just a matter of paying more attention and really being conscious about what we are eating and whether or not it’s really good food.

(Read more: How To Get Started Eating Healthy)

Have you lost weight eating real food? What are the biggest challenges for you?

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Farmers Market Update: Prepping for Asilomar

by | Sep 20, 2009
Hawaiian Apples

Hawaiian Apples

My goal at the farmers market today was to get everything I need to survive the next few days at the annual neuroscience department retreat at the Asilomar conference grounds in Monterey, CA. Last year they served us some of the most unspeakably disgusting food I’ve ever eaten in my life, and budget cuts forecast this year to be even worse.

Almost certainly I’ll be stuck eating fewer calories than usual, but I like to have a few of my own things to make sure I am at least somewhat nourished. For a complete rundown of what I’m bringing, watch the 3 minute video clip below.

How do you survive conferences and events that serve horrible food?

Since I also won’t be cooking dinners or making salads at work for the next few days, I didn’t buy my usual cornucopia of vegetables this week. But I certainly wanted to!

Peaches and Pomegranates

Peaches and Pomegranates

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

The seasons are changing before my eyes. Autumn fruits like pomegranates, pears, grapes and apples are downright abundant. You can also find pumpkins, carrots and beets, all wonderful for roasting in the fall. (Try this recipe for delicious roasted beets with mint and chevre).

I even found chestnuts at K & J Orchards!

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Chestnuts

Chestnuts

I learned today that Brussels sprout season is early this year (it usually starts in October-November). I decided to buy some since I know they will keep well until I return on Tuesday. They are really small right now, which is how you want them for the best taste. I used to hate Brussels sprouts, but have since learned the error of my ways.

Roasting Pimentos

Roasting Pimentos

Peppers and Eggplants

Peppers and Eggplants

The good news for those of us who adore summer produce is that most of it is still spectacular. Tomatoes, peaches, plums, zucchini, melon, peppers (oh the peppers!), eggplant, figs, okra and green beans are what I’m going to focus on for the next few weeks while they are still around.

Paw Paw Ice Cream

Paw Paw Ice Cream

Oh, and if you’re a fan of paw paws, Langier Ranches made up some paw paw ice cream you can get for only $1!

Today’s purchases:

What did you find at the farmers market this week?

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For The Love of Food

by | Sep 18, 2009
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Thanks to all of you who humored me participated in last weekend’s completely childish melon caption contest!

The awesome commentor of the week award goes to Foodie Adventures!, because it really would take a jumbo melon to hit a head that big!

Impressive Melons

"Who wants to throw JUMBO produce at Kanye West?"

As usual there were a ton of great articles this week around the web. I can’t say enough good things about what Monica Reinagel is doing over at her Nutrition Data blog and podcast. Luckily I also learned this week that health podcasts can help you lose weight!

Check the links below to find some great ideas on how to preserve summer herbs, what to do with fresh shelling beans and some tricks to keeping your brain sharp.

Oh, and did you hear that a new study found organic produce is actually more nutritious? Share your thoughts in the comments.

I also encourage all of you to sign this petition against the Smart Choices food labeling program, which has been widely criticized as a slap in the face to both consumers and health experts. It’s easy and I had no trouble unsubscribing to their mailings after I got the first one.

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For complete reading lists join me on the social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you there. (Note: If you want a follow back on Twitter introduce yourself with an @ message).

I also invite you to submit your own best food and health articles for next week’s For The Love of Food, just drop me an email using the contact form. I am also accepting guest posts at Summer Tomato for any awesome healthstyle tips and recipes you’d like to share.

This post is an open thread. Share your thoughts, writing (links welcome!) and delicious healthy meals of the week in the comments below.

For The Love of Food

What stories moved you this week?

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Learning To Eat Less: How Understanding Your Brain Can Make You Healthier

by | Sep 16, 2009

the-end-of-overeatingIn a nation where obesity and health loom large in our public dialog, there is no escaping the simple fact that we eat too much.

On average Americans consume 500 more calories per day than we did in 1970 (more than we ever have), mostly in the form of refined and processed foods. This corresponds with a 25-30 pound increase in body weight and obesity rates near 30%.

Debates rage over the specifics of what is causing our weight and health problems, but it seems clear enough that the critical element is the amount of food we choose to put in our mouths.

But does everything we eat represent a true choice?

In his book The End of Overeating, former FDA commissioner Dr. David Kessler examines the role of the brain in eating behavior and the mechanisms involved in what he calls conditioned hypereating.

According to his findings specific combinations of sugar, fat and salt hijack the reward pathways of our brain and force us to behave more like food addicts than hungry organisms. This leads to a cycle of conditioned hypereating that makes the habit harder to break with each repeated episode.

But whether or not we are addicted to food is a point of debate. In my interview with Kessler, he made clear he does not use the word addiction for fear of oversimplifying conditioned hypereating. Our relationship with food is more complicated than it is with something like alcohol or tobacco because a human can live without cigarettes, but food is vital to survival.

When pressed to describe the neural differences between addiction and conditioned hypereating, however, Kessler conceded, “The fundamental circuits are the same.”

For this reason, treatment of conditioned hypereating can draw from the success of substance abuse treatments. These tactics involve cognitive and behavioral therapies we can use to train ourselves to override our instincts and adopt new behaviors in response to stimulus cues.

For conditioned and compulsive behavior, cognitive strategies are necessary because intuitive inclinations and “listening to your body” do more harm than good. If your body is telling you to have a cigarette, this does not mean it is in your best interest to do so.

At the FDA Kessler was instrumental in the fight to regulate tobacco, and now he believes some of the same lessons can be applied to the treatment of overeating.

“What took me a decade to understand is you need to change the valence of the stimulus.”

The positive emotional reaction associated with indulgent foods is at the center of our motivation to seek them out. Twenty years ago cigarettes had tremendous allure. But the FDA was successful at demonizing the tobacco industry, and the public no longer sees smoking as glamorous and attractive.

And smoking rates have plummeted.

Changing a conditioned behavior requires a fundamental shift in how we think about a stimulus. In conditioned hypereating the stimulus is food, which makes the task especially difficult, but not impossible.

To break the cycle of conditioned hypereating we must redirect our automatic response to the kinds of foods that cause us to overeat. Kessler calls these hyperpalatable foods, which are loaded with layers upon layers of sugar, fat and salt. The goal is to replace our automatic responses to these foods with different, equally enjoyable actions that are not detrimental to our health and do not reinforce compulsive behavior.

I asked Kessler what is the first step in controlling our eating habits and overcoming conditioned hypereating.

“I can tell you the last step. Change your relationship with food. If sugar, fat and salt are your friends, you will lose. You have to get to the point where that is not what you want.”

The End of Overeating outlines the four basic steps of habit reversal: awareness, competing actions, competing thoughts and support.

But Kessler believes the critical step is fundamentally changing the way we view what we eat, cooling down our emotional response to hyperpalatable foods. In essence, we must train ourselves to stop wanting what we believe we want.

According to the book, the first step in this transformation is becoming aware of the power food holds over us, which requires understanding how our brains work. We must recognize that when we are tempted to indulge, the urge is not generated internally but is a reaction to a cue that makes us respond automatically. You may think you are hungry, but really you are just reacting to an emotionally charged stimulus that tells you to eat.

Once you recognize a cue for what it is you have a brief moment to decide not to take the bait. To successfully divert yourself to another course of action you must have a plan ready in advance that allows you to do something completely different.

Considering alternative activities and the reasons you might prefer them can help you tremendously at this point of decision. Rather than focusing on the positive emotions you will experience by giving in to your desire for hyperpalatable foods, also remember the negative emotions that follow if you give in and the positive aspects of the alternative action.

For instance, it may help to remember that every time you get cued and give in, you are strengthening the neural circuitry that compels you to this behavior in the first place. If you even briefly entertain the possibility of indulging, you create a state of ambivalence that leads to torment, obsession and cravings. However, when you successfully divert your attention to another rewarding activity you have made a small step toward cooling down the positive valence of the food.

It is the state of mental torment and ambivalence that increases the positive emotional charge of a food, building and strengthening the neural reward circuitry that causes conditioned overeating. This may be one of the reasons dieting almost always results in long-term weight gain, since constant deprivation makes hyperpalatable foods more difficult to resist and creates severe anxiety.

Mentally, the best strategy to overcome conditioned hypereating is to develop new, positive associations with food that are independent of palatability–something you care more about than the fleeting reward of overeating. Kessler says this is a deeply personal process and must reflect an individual’s own set of values. For example, it helps some people to become vegetarian, while others value organics or local food. These decisions remove virtually all hyperpalatable food from the lives of people who choose these paths.

It also helps to develop aversions to hyperpalatable foods. Some may learn to demonize “Big Food,” while others turn away after educating themselves about health concerns. Developing a more sophisticated culinary palate can help make hyperpalatable foods less palatable. Kessler himself developed an aversion to over-sized portions, which he now sees as repulsive piles of sugar, fat and salt.

Developing positive associations with healthier foods while demonizing the hyperpalatable foods we have been conditioned to crave can fundamentally change your emotional response to stimulus cues. As you learn to recognize your brain’s response to cues, you can override conditioned behavior by consciously deciding to take alternative actions because you want to.

You will never win an internal battle with yourself. Instead use what you know about the brain’s reward system and give up trying to summon willpower to resolve the torment of conflicting desires. Reprogram your habits by closely examining your relationship with hyperpalatable food and begin making deliberate decisions that are consistent with your goals, breaking the cycle of conditioned overeating.

To read more about conditioned hypereating and habit reversal read The End of Overeating, by Dr. David Kessler.

Have you read The End of Overeating? Have you overcome conditioned hypereating?


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Farmers Market Update (Irvine): Impressive Melons & Caption Contest

by | Sep 13, 2009
Impressive Melons

Impressive Melons

If you follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or Facebook you already know I’ve been down in Orange County the past few days and hit up the Irvine farmers market on Saturday. I’m always impressed by what I find in the OC, but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for melons like these!

Huge Watermelons

Huge Watermelons

I also found some pretty spectacularly-sized daikon, or Japanese radish. Seriously, what do you guys put in your water?

Giant Diakon

Giant Diakon

I thought of about a hundred hilarious things to write under these photos, but I’d love to hear your suggestions. So let the games begin!

In the comments tell us your best caption idea for any of the 3 photos above. The funniest caption writer will be proudly dubbed the Summer Tomato commentor of the week. (note: innuendos welcome, but kindly refrain from NSFW language).

Asian Pears

Asian Pears

Emerald Beaut Pluots

Emerald Beaut Pluots

Since I am heading back to SF on Sunday, I didn’t buy much this trip. However I did grab a few of these emerald beaut pluots and Asian pears to share with friends and family.

I learned that the emerald beaut season is ending here in the OC, which is interesting since I mentioned last week it is just beginning in SF. In my experience, emerald beauts are the last available pluots at the end of the summer.

Jujubes (Chinese dates) are plentiful now here in Irvine. It is also a great time to get peppers, eggplant and assorted Asian greens and vegetables.

Jalepenos

Jalepenos

Jujubes

Jujubes

Yuchoy

Yuchoy

Chinese Eggplant & Melon

Chinese Eggplant & Melon

Chinese Long Beans

Chinese Long Beans

Don’t forget to tell us what you found at the farmers market this week!

Please visit Food Renegade for more great Fight Back Friday articles about local and sustainable food.

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For The Love of Food

by | Sep 11, 2009
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

First and foremost be sure to check out my guest post over at Geek’s Dream Girl, Get Fit By Becoming a Food Geek. Also, Michael Pollan wrote a thought-provoking Op-ed on food and healthcare and the Nutrition Diva gives us more to ponder in the world of food and health.

In other news this week I applied to and became listed at the website Alltop. Apparently this is some kind of honor and I’m supposed to put one of these badges on my blog. I’m not sure I feel comfortable putting one in my sidebar, but I’ll show you some of my options here. Let me know what you think.

Alltop. We're kind of a big deal.Alltop, all the top storiesAlltop, confirmation that I kick ass

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For complete reading lists join me on the social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you there. (Note: I’ve been struggling with the Delicious tool bar on my browser this week, so my bookmarks there are not current. I hope to fix this soon).

I also invite you to submit your own best food and health articles for next week’s For The Love of Food, just drop me an email using the contact form. I am also accepting guest posts at Summer Tomato for any awesome healthstyle tips and recipes you’d like to share.

This post is an open thread. Share your thoughts, writing (links welcome!) and delicious healthy meals of the week in the comments below.

For The Love of Food

  • Get Fit By Becoming A Food Geek <<Nerds looking to get in shape can take advantage of their inclination toward excessive information. My guest post at Geek’s Dream Girl.
  • Big Food vs. Big Insurance <<Michael Pollan, as usual, offers a brilliant analysis of the benefits of healthcare (insurance) reform, and the residual benefits this will have on our waistlines. (New York Times)
  • Do sugar substitutes hurt or help with weight loss? <<Find out the latest on the controversial topic of artificial sweeteners and weight loss. (Nutriton Data)
  • Fast food lunches contain RIDICULOUS amounts of calories <<Do you eat fast food? Maybe you will stop after reading this. As supplemental reading, here’s my opinion on fast food. (Obesity Panacea)
  • Fruit Even Healthier Than Thought: Study <<Personally I’m not surprised to hear that there are benefits of whole fruits scientists haven’t discovered yet. I bet there are things we don’t know about whole vegetables too. (HealthDay)
  • For Your Health, Froot Loops <<B.S. of the week Maybe that last article explains why the FDA is allowing Froot Loops to be labeled as a “Smart Choice.” Oh wait, that doesn’t say fruit…. (New York Times)
  • Green Onions Recalled <<Yet another recall of industrial food. You have to be brave to shop for food at a conventional supermarket these days. As Arnold says in Terminator 2, “Come with me if you want to live.” (New York Times)
  • 7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat <<Interesting read over at Tim Ferriss’ blog about the benefits of saturated fat. I would take these points with a grain of salt, but it is worth thinking outside of the box sometimes and questioning your long-held beliefs. (Blog of Tim Ferriss)
  • Soybeans With Garlic and Dill <<This recipe looks simple, healthy and delicious, and can be made with items that are available year-round. (New York Times)
  • Slow-motion sneeze is gross, and probably effective <<This video of sneezing is really gross, but I couldn’t stop laughing. Enjoy. (Los Angeles Times)

What thought provoking stories did you find this week?

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Farmers Market Update: Late Summer

by | Sep 6, 2009
Asian Pears

Asian Pears

I had to do a double take when I looked at the calendar this week. Is it really September already? Looks like it is, and the farmers market seems content to prove it to me. Not only was there a decent selection of pears, apples, grapes and other fall fruit, the market was completely packed with football fans for the Cal game. Go Bears!

I was particularly impressed with the Asian pears this week at K&J Orchards. I’m not always a big fan of Asian pears, I find they get a fermented taste very quickly if they are too ripe, but this week they blended a perfect mix of sweet and crispy. K&J has about half a dozen varieties, all different and delicious. They are pricey, but worth trying at the height of season.

Warren Pears

Warren Pears

Niitaka Asian Pears

Niitaka Asian Pears

The legendary Warren pears have appeared at Frog Hollow, but I couldn’t bring myself to choose them over the newly arrived emerald beaut pluots and flavor kings. I’m not letting go of summer quite yet.

O Henry Peaches

O Henry Peaches

Emerald Beaut Pluots

Emerald Beaut Pluots

It is definitely time to start buying grapes, however. If you make it to the farmers market, sample them all and find the ones you like best. I like them very crisp and sweet, but not too sweet.

Collard Greens

Collard Greens

Black Grapes

Black Grapes

Finally, don’t forget to try all the wonderful varieties of peppers. I put them in everything these days, but especially love to cook them up with onions, fresh corn, tomatoes, garlic and cilantro.

Pimentos

Peppers

Gypsy Peppers

Gypsy Peppers

Fresh beans and Asian greens and other specialties like bitter melon are also easy to find.

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon

Romano Beans

Romano Beans

Today’s Purchases:

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