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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: It’s time to stop fat shaming, natural beauty product makers want more regulation, and how much strength training is necessary

by | Sep 21, 2018

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

This week it’s time to stop fat shaming, natural beauty product makers want more regulation, and how much strength training is necessary.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Nutrition is not as complex as you think, backyard chickens spreading Salmonella, and diseased farmed salmon infest wild population

by | Sep 8, 2017

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

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

This week nutrition is not as complex as you think, backyard chickens spreading Salmonella, and diseased farmed salmon infest wild population.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Read the rest of this story »

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FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: The antidote to stress, Big Food rethinks chicken welfare, and why you can’t pay people to exercise more

by | Aug 4, 2017

Quick announcement: On August 8 at 6pm PT I’m holding a Facebook Live Q&A session to answer question people have about pregnancy. The event will take place on the Summer Tomato FB page and you can submit/vote on questions in advance here.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

This week the antidote to stress, Big Food rethinks chicken welfare, and why you can’t pay people to exercise more.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Read the rest of this story »

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For the Love of Food

by | Apr 24, 2015
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.

This week the worst US bird flu outbreak ever, the truth about slow-digesting carbs, and sugar reduces stress response.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

Want to see all my favorite links? (There’s lots more). Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (Yes, I took that picture of the pepper heart myself.)

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Foodist Approved: Braised Chicken with Asparagus and Mushrooms

by | Mar 25, 2015
Braised chicken with asparagus and mushrooms

Braised chicken with asparagus and mushrooms

Braising is my preferred method of cooking meat as of late. A quick sear followed by an effortless simmer ensures meat so tender that even my toothless nine-month-old devours it.

The flavors in this braised chicken dish were inspired by the start of spring. Move over root vegetables—asparagus are now stealing the limelight at the farmers market. The white wine lends a refreshing citrusy accent and the herbs de provence are reminiscent of spring flowers.*

The best part about this recipe is being able to accomplish every step, from the searing to the simmering to cooking the veggies and creating a sop-it-up sauce, in just one pot (the family member appointed to dish-duty will thank you).

The right pot is key in this recipe. If you’re not yet the proud owner of a Dutch or French oven, which is a large enameled cast-iron pot with a lid, then you should definitely consider investing in this worthwhile culinary wonder. I’m partial to Le Creuset French ovens, but there are less expensive brands out there too.

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Foodist Approved: Simply Roast Chicken

by | May 14, 2014
Simply Roasted Chicken

Simply Roasted Chicken

Once upon a time I was intimidated by the idea of cooking a whole chicken. It seemed like a daunting task requiring a day’s commitment and the skills of a butcher. But now that I’ve roasted a few stellar chickens, I’m here to tell you the truth.

Roasting a chicken is seriously easier than baking cookies. It’s also more rewarding. You’ll be spending most of the hour-and-a-half commitment sipping wine and savoring the smells wafting from your oven. And once you roast your own chicken, you’ll never again want to buy some flavor-injected, grocery-store rotisserie chicken. My homemade version is healthier, and tastier.

The key to serving a praise-worthy roasted chicken to your family or friends is actually not determined by your culinary skills. A chicken’s nourishing flavor and satisfying juiciness is all dependent on the bird you buy (but no reason not to let your guests think the opposite!). A few simple tips to finding the perfect chicken: buy local, do pay extra for organic and free-range, and avoid those huge chickens pumped up with antibiotics.

And fear not the dark side. Dark meat is actually more nutritious than white—that’s where all the vitamins and minerals are hiding out.

Serve with a salad of spring greens, radish, walnuts and crumbled goat cheese and you’ve got a meal to remember.
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Foodist Approved: Miso-marinated Ko Lan Grilled Chicken (or Tempeh)

by | Oct 2, 2013
Ko Lan Grilled Chicken

Ko Lan Grilled Chicken

My life recently went from moderately busy to extremely crazy. I got a puppy. He’s 9 weeks old and pure energy.

Meet Huck

Meet Huck

Meet Huck. Huck-a-boo. Huckleberry.

When I get home this wild little pooch wants 110% of my attention. Because of him I’m beginning to better understand why some parents say, “I just don’t have time to cook a healthy meal.” Huck is my “first” and he’s like a little warning of what it’s like to try to balance work with raising a child, while still finding time to cook a healthy and delicious dinner.

I’ll admit that during my husband’s and my first week with Huck there were a couple of nights that we relied on takeout after he finally went to bed at 10 p.m. I’m now determined to create recipes for you (and me) that are great for hectic nights. They’ll be quick and easy without compromising taste or nutrition.

The marinade in this Thai-inspired dish takes just five minutes to make and gives the chicken incredible flavor. The miso in it pairs deliciously with the ginger, garlic and lime, and a touch of agave helps the marinade to bind, which keeps the chicken extra moist. My marinade is also far healthier than store-bought ones, which are full of sugar, low-quality oils, artificial flavors and preservatives. Even the organic ones are high in sugar and salt and lack fresh flavor.

I love grilling on weeknights because it requires no cleanup and it’s fun to cook outdoors after a day spent behind the computer. I always make enough of this dish for two dinners. The first night I serve the chicken with grilled veggies and an easy tomato avocado salad. It also goes perfectly with my Kale Superhero Salad. The second night it’s delicious sliced and served cold on top of a salad full of seasonal greens.

For a vegetarian option this marinade pairs fantastically with tempeh. Simply slice the block of tempeh into four pieces and follow the same directions below.
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For The Love Of Food

by | Mar 19, 2010
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.

A lot of examples of healthstyle in action this week around the web. Some of my favorites revisit the principle of mindful eating, and why it is so important. In grosser news, what sort of sicko serves whale meat as sushi? “Would you like some baby snow owl with your endangered whale?” Jeez.

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).

Links of the week

I hope I’ve inspired you today 🙂 Did I miss anything?

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Healthy Lunch: Chicken Chard Soup

by | Jan 21, 2009

Since summer ended I have been searching for the perfect winter lunch to bring to work. I want something healthy, delicious and, given the season, warm.

Roasted vegetables are a pretty good choice, but I learned the hard way that they don’t quite have the long-term appeal of summer salads (i.e., I got sick of them really fast).

My latest experiment is soup.

Soup appeals to me for many reasons:

  1. It stores and transports easily and can be heated up in a minute or two in the microwave. This makes it a perfect food for the office.
  2. Almost any recipe can be turned into a soup, so you can enjoy cuisines from all cultures–you could eat soup every day for the rest of your life and never eat the same one twice.
  3. Soups are easy to modify, and hard to mess up.
  4. As many of you know, I have a lot of experience making soup.

I accepted the challenge.

The first place I turned was my faithful Splendid Soups, by James Peterson. I can’t imagine there is a better soup recipe book on the planet. Not only have I used it to make dozens of spectacular soups, but it has made me a better overall cook as well. This book is truly a treasure.*

I had several goals for my first soup:

First, I wanted it to be healthy and light, meaning it should have something green (e.g. chard) in it and be broth based rather than cream based.

Second, I wanted to use the whole chicken I bought at the farmers market. I don’t normally eat meat for lunch, but I had been wanting to experiment with whole chicken and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I ended up modifying one of the vegetable recipes in the book to include chicken. Peterson gives detailed instructions on how to use chicken in any soup, so I simply followed his technique.

My soup turned out divine, but preparing it took longer than I had hoped.

Word of advice: Ask the butcher to quarter the chicken for you (unless you are planning on roasting it). This was only the second time I had quartered a chicken, and though it wasn’t very difficult it definitely cost me 20-30 minutes because of my inexperience. Oops.

Chicken Chard Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium chicken, quartered
  • 1 large bunch of Swiss chard, trimmed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium sweet onions, diced
  • 2 jalepeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 28-0z can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4 cups (1 box) chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 0.5 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil

Heat some olive oil in a pan just large enough for the chicken to cover the bottom. Add the chicken skin-side down and cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes. Turn with tongs and cook for another 5 minutes, remove from heat and set aside. If at any point the chicken begins to burn, lower the heat.

Shred the chard by cutting out the stems (I like to leave a few in, but I cut them in half), stacking and rolling the leaves, then cutting them in thin, 0.25 inch strips. This is the same chiffonade technique we use on basil, sage and mint leaves.

In a 4-quart pot, cook onions, garlic and chilies in olive oil on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Allow the onions to become translucent, but not brown. Add thyme and cook 2 more minutes.

Add broth, water, tomatoes and chicken and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the chicken feels firm to the touch. Remove chicken and set it aside to cool. Add chard to the soup and simmer 10 more minutes.

Remove chicken skins and cut chicken into bite-sized chunks. Return chicken meat to the soup, add parsley and simmer 2 more minutes. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and serve with crusty bread.

This soup will keep up to 5 days in a cold refrigerator.

*Note: If you decide to buy Splendid Soups (or any other item from Amazon), please consider using one of the links from this site and help support my blog. My favorite books and kitchen equipment are listed in the Shop.
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Farmers Market Update

by | Jan 10, 2009
fennel

fennel

Lucky be the ones who found their way to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this morning. It was bright and sunny, so naturally I expected a bone-chilling cold down at the Embarcadero. But by global warming some miracle it was actually pleasant today, approaching 70 degrees. T-shirt weather if I’ve ever seen it.


It would be hard to imagine a more beautiful mid-January morning at the market.

This week the produce was very similar to what I found last week. Fennel is starting to become more abundant, as you can see by the main photo. And the pomelos seem to just keep getting bigger and bigger.

As for my purchases, the kohlrabi I bought last Saturday got me excited about root vegetables that are edible raw. So today I got a couple lo bok, a green relative of the daikon or Japanese radish (sorry I didn’t get a good picture). These vegetables are super crisp and moist, with a texture similar to jicama. They are relatively sweet for a vegetable and make a great appetizer or side dish when cut up into slices or sticks.

I also tried to buy some kaffir limes, but the guy said he forgot them this week and will definitely have them next week. I got an assortment of other citrus fruits to make up for it.

The most notable new purchase I made today was a whole free range chicken from the Golden Gate Meat Company. That’s right, I bought meat! I want to make a soup this weekend to take with me to work for lunch. As always, I will keep you posted on my experiments.

I also stocked up on tamarillos.

Today’s purchases:

  • Free range chicken (whole)
  • Tamarillo
  • Lo bok
  • Rio red grapefruit
  • Cara cara orange
  • Blood orange
  • Meyer lemon
  • Kiwi
  • Romanesco
  • Chinese broccoli
  • Traditional broccoli
  • Kabocha squash
  • Dino kale
  • Pink lady apples
  • Pomegranate
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Yirg coffee

Any of you find anything interesting today?

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