Radicchio Salad with Beets, Pear, Walnuts and Blue Cheese: “serious autumn salad” that sticks to your ribs

Oct 20, 2009 by

CMreceiptsaladscanThe benchmark for an “affordable” dinner for four at home is $10, according to Campbell Soup. I think it’s pretty hard to make a high quality meal for that little. But I take it as a challenge to find meals that really feed you—unprocessed, natural, fresh, packed with nutrients and satisfying—for that price.  I also insist that it be delicious (by my standards). If it’s easy and quick, which this one is, all the better.

The original recipe I adapted this salad from is in a Food & Wine cookbook, which called it “a serious autumn salad.”  It was indeed so serious that none of us even felt like eating the grilled salmon or carrot, potato and leek soup I’d made to follow it that evening.  Full of contrasting and complementary flavors and textures, it was all we needed.

I spent $9.74…

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To Melissa G., the Recessionary Grocery Shopper: The Official Kid-Will-Eat-It Guidelines

Oct 1, 2009 by

Dear Melissa G.,

Congratulations! You have been named “ground zero for the new austerity” by one of our food industry giants, according to an article I just read in Advertising Age.  Industrial edibles manufacturers, scrambling to keep their profits up while consumers like you look for ways to spend less, are taking a hard look at you, the average grocery shopper, and how you think and behave.  Melissa, you represent today’s Every Mom:  the very picture of the grocery-shopping parent. You are the bull’s eye of the target for processed food manufacturers in this economic downturn.

It’s quite an honor, and a responsibility, a sacred destiny even, Every Mom. The wellbeing of the American child is in your hands.

While Campbell Soup was analyzing your habits and attitudes…

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Two simple ways to make foods you're already feeding your kids more nutritious

Sep 22, 2009 by

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Do you ever wonder how recipes and food processes were first developed? Take pickling, for example. Did one prehistoric day someone discover a stray cucumber that had fallen unperceived months before into some casual vat of brine or vinegar and say, “Say, this thing has been in here since the last harvest was brought in! It actually smells good! It seems crispy! Say, this tastes good!” Or what?

How did people first discover how to make dough rise? Or how to make cheese and some of the more surprising variations thereof? And how about those real-life dramas we’ll never hear about how early peoples figured out what was poisonous or not?

Fictionalized accounts of these accidental or ingenious food discoveries would fascinate me. Maybe that’s where my buried fictional talent lies: the untold imagined stories…

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Fat Phobia: Why are we so fat if we don’t eat fat?

Sep 11, 2009 by

Free hamburger tape measure

Did you know that human breast milk provides one of the highest proportions of cholesterol of any food?

Yet we prescribe nonfat yogurt and milk for young and old.

Did you know that the body is actually unable to absorb certain nutrients in vegetables unless they’re combined with some fat: olive oil, an avocado, some cheese, or some good animal fat with the meal?

Yet we prescribe fat-free salad dressing with our little pumpkins’ celery sticks. And we get fatter and fatter.

In the 1930s, Dr. Weston Price, a dentist, noticed a big increase in children’s teeth getting crowded, crooked…

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Curried Turkey Salad with Grapes and Almonds

Jul 25, 2009 by

Stock turkey This savory-sweet dish brings together high protein, low fat, fresh fruit, nuts and lots of complementary, mouthwatering flavors. It’s hearty, sticks-to-your ribs, yet is fresh and cool for summer weather. It’s a perfect caveman diet dish (except for that little bit of sugary chutney).

I wonder: why do we eat so much chicken and so little turkey? Turkey is not only cheaper but much higher protein and much lower fat than chicken. It makes for a nice change in flavor, too.

I made double this amount for three people and we were eating it for days. A good idea might be to go ahead and poach 5 lbs of turkey and freeze half for quick fixing…

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