Tag Archives: produce

True Story…

5 Dec

It is turning REALLY chilly.  I have soup on the brain…again!  But I also have yummy fresh fall produce on the brain too.  Gosh…can those two be related?  Oh yeah!

So true story.  This morning leaving for work I catch a glimpse of a big butternut squash sitting on the kitchen table (I always have a platter of fresh fruits and veggies on the kitchen table ready to go).  I hung on to that thought.  Once I got to work the thought of that big flavorful squash was pushed from the front to the back of my mind while I concentrated on work, but it was still there.

I really had food on the brain, and that was going to make its way out to a yummy dinner for my family.  I kept thinking…what could I do with that squash?  Then it struck me.  I had some beautiful lump crabmeat in the fridge to use up too, and I was determined to get those two things together.

Denis has been talking about making soup lately, and any soup he ever makes is fabulous.  Hey, how about soup with butternut squash and crab? Yes!  that was it.  I thought my head would explode because it sounded so good (plus I’d had a tiny breakfast and was hungry!!).  I texted Denis.  I knew one text would hook him on the idea too.  And it did.

I walked into the house after work.  Even thought my dog was happy to see me and jumping around my ankles in joy at my return, I stopped dead in my tracks.  I did not bend down and talk to her as I usually do.  My head went back.  My eyes closed.  I breathed in deep.  I knew instantly that Denis was there and cooking.  It smelled amazing.  I had to take it all in.  The house smelled incredible.

After a minute of taking the scents and aromas in, I gave my sweet dog some attention.  Then off I went in the direction of the kitchen.  Dinner was fantastic.  Soup was perfect for that chilly night!  What do you have on hand to  make soup with tonight?


The butternut squash crab soup and a glass of wine made the perfect cold night dinner!  See the beautiful plate of veggies on the table?  It is great to be veg ready!

The butternut squash crab soup and a glass of wine made the perfect cold night dinner! See the beautiful plate of veggies on the table? It is great to be veg ready!

Breakfast for dinner!

2 Oct

Why not have breakfast for dinner?  Every one that knows me knows that I despise labels.  They are limiting.  And to me life is limitless!  I apply this philosophy to life, as well as to food and meals.  This includes the traditional breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Yes, cereal and eggs are for breakfast.  Sandwiches are for lunch.  Dinner is a big hunk of meat and a couple of side dishes.  Right?  I say forget that!

My youngest son loves breakfast for dinner. So much so that he has chosen breakfast for his birthday dinner more than once.  Leftover chicken and rice for breakfast?  Sure!  Why not!  A good diet is all about balance.  There is no specific order here…no labels.

Listen to your body, and give it what it asks for.  There is a reason you might crave a bowl of cereal for dinner or pasta for breakfast.  After all, isn’t pasta categorized as a grain just like breakfast cereal?  Yes, it sure is.  So dig in when your body asks you to!

A healthy diet is balanced with grains, dairy, protein, fruits and vegetables.  The order of intake really doesn’t matter for most of us.  The exception might include a professional athlete that needs to eat certain things at certain times to maximize training.  The rest of us can pretty much each our daily intake in any order we want.  I love the freedom of that.

As a nutrition professional, I am very aware of what I eat, and what my children eat.  I actually prefer to “front load” my meals.  In other words, I like to eat heavier earlier in the day.  I like to lighten up as the day goes on.  This works for me most days.  Find what works best for you!

For snacks, an easy way to think about them is for snacks to “fill in the blanks”.  By mid afternoon, if I haven’t had enough of my fruits and vegetables, I try to snack on, for example, fruit and yogurt.  It is a sweet afternoon “pick me up”.  If I feel the need to crunch, I have 1/4 cup of mixed nuts with perhaps some dried fruit.

So as I mentioned, I am not a person that likes labels.  Nor am I a morning person.  With that in mind, taking a few minutes in the evening to plan meals and snacks for the next day helps me balance my intake and keep it healthy.  I portion food on weekends or in the evening so that healthy food is a quick grab in the morning.  I get snacks ready and fill up plastic ware and sandwich bags with portable foods.  In the morning I can grab and go.

Take some time, leave the labels behind, and balance out your foods.  Don’t get all caught up in the order and start listening to your body.  And do a little planning ahead of time.  When you come home from the market, that can be a good time to get your food ready to grab out of the fridge.  Put your portable produce, your grapes, your berries, your celery sticks, into sandwich bags.  That makes it super easy to grab a bag in the morning, head out the door, and assure yourself that you have healthy food options for your day!