Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Miso Peanut Pasta Salad

Aah Pasta Salad - the official food of summer and my favorite way to pack a huge amount of veggies into a meal.  I have made this a few times and my favorite way to eat it is cold, but Joseph preferred it warm (right after I am done making it), but it delicious at room temperature as well. 

That makes it perfect to take to any summer gathering. 

With all the yummy goodness of my favorite peanut noodles, the addition of the Miso makes it extra special. If you aren't familiar with Miso, I suggest you try it immediately. I can find it at my local grocery store in the Asian section. It comes in a paste. The white is much milder than the red. It is a fermented soybean paste and is most often used in cooking to add that sweet / salty / spicy Umami goodness. (it is the salty)

You could pack this pasta salad with even more veggies as it would be delicious with bell peppers, snow peas or green peas, bean sprouts, broccoli florets, cabbage or spinach. Add whatever veggies you have on hand. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Fresh Watermelon Mint Lemonade

I love a good drink! I know how that sounds, but I love to make a sweet icy treat and sit out in my porch swing with Joseph and enjoy the last few hours of the summer day. 

I made this lemonade because the watermelon that we bought was not good. It wasn't sweet and juicy and I couldn't get anyone to eat it. So I decided to see if I could use it up in a drink. 

I had lots of mint because I ordered a mint plant with my grocery pick-up order and they didn't have one... so they gave me 3!! packs of fresh mint leaves. I was swimming in it. 

I love to make lemonade by putting whole lemons (that I cut the peels off of) in my blender, so I thought I would test this out.  It is Delicious! So sweet and refreshing and the mint and watermelon together are just perfect. You'll wonder how you didn't put them together before. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Creamy Avocado Cucumber Salad

Crunchy, creamy, tart with the juice of lime and crisp with cucumbers this salad has me loving summer. 

It marries perfectly with the feta cheese and the cilantro. 

Although there is quite a bit of lime juice in this recipe, Your avocados won't stay green forever, so it isn't really something that you can make ahead of time to enjoy later. 

But it would make an AMAZING topping for some spicy tacos or on top of a rice bowl.

I'm just eating it by the fork-full and living my dream to just eat guacamole plain. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What motivates real change?

There has been pretty reliable basic nutrition information available to most of us for a while. I think most of us know that we need to eat more veggies and less junk food. Drink more water and have less soda. Sure the guidelines are updated and changed and fine-tuned every once in a while.  To give us a more detailed and up to date picture of what is happening in the world of nutrition. But the guidelines that Food $ense follows and are provided by MyPlate have stayed pretty basic and straight forward.

So most of us know some of these things, or have a pretty good idea where to start. But what motivates us to start in the first place? What motivates us to make a dinner at home instead of eating out? Or to add a snack of vegetables to our day instead of some salty chips or a candybar?

I would like to think that the motivation for change at the most basic part is knowledge. Each of us has learned something and then decided that our life would be better in some way if we implemented this knowledge into our lives. First you have to know there is a need for change before you can want to change.

Food $ense and the Snap-Ed programs in general are a really great place to start to gain some knowledge about food and nutrition. There are some great programs that can help you become a nutrition-wonder in your home and family. I think it is presented in a easy to digest and understand way. One of my favorite programs has been the Eat Right When Money is Tight series. It encourages you to be informed and make the small changes that you can. Even one little change is a movement in the right direction.

Another great place to start gaining some knowledge is the Food $ense lessons at home. Or to contact your local county extension agent and ask when local classes are being held.

Learning is what really leads us to change our lives. We all think that we have "heard it all before" and a lot of us probably feel like eating healthy is too hard, too expensive and too yucky. But it isn't any of those things. With a little bit of know-how it can be the exact opposite. Eating and Feeding our families healthy can be easy, we can do it on our budgets and most of all it can be really really delicious!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Caprese Pasta Salad

I remember the first time I discovered Caprese Salad. I felt so sophisticated and glamorous. It seemed like a fancy thing to be eating, glorious in its simplicity. I still can't get enough of the stuff, I just love it. 

And so when it gets to be tomato season and the fresh basil is plentiful, I could eat it everyday. 

But eating it everyday, means that I'm still hungry. Let's be honest, when I make it, I use a pretty heavy hand with the tomatoes and skimp on the cheese. That means, I'm just mostly eating tomatoes. And after an hour or two... I'm hungry again. 

This summer, I am solving that problem with pasta and making my beloved Caprese Salad a meal. 

It's genius! The balsamic vinegar and olive oil are the perfect simple dressing for a pasta salad. And the flavors of the fresh tomatoes along with pungent basil make the perfect compliment to plain old pasta. 

This keeps amazing in the fridge. I have been eating it all week at lunch and for snacks. (Yes! I really do eat that much of it!) The last day, I added a bit more balsamic and oil because the pasta had absorbed so much, but it was still just as tasty.