Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On Hold

Well, I did make a trip this past weekend and spring is here??!! Maybe... I must admit it is difficult to post these days. One reason is my computer picks up internet once a day at 4:00 for about an hour. I am serious. Maybe something beyond my control I think. So for a bit this blog is on hold. Do hope this has been a blessing to read and maybe gave you a chuckle every now and again.

Peace out - Angela

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Soy. Do you know what it is?

The debate is there. Is soy good for you or bad? Where did all the confusion come from? I personally think it is NOT good for you unless it is fermented. Here is why I think this way. It is an article I got from I also have uploaded a picture of the fermented miso I use and I can only find it at Whole Foods. I am sure an ethnic store will carry it or maybe even Baum's around here, I have just not looked.
Soy Bad, Soy Good: The Pluses of Fermented Soy

Soy is a hotly debated product among those who promote and sell its nutritional value as well as consumers who eat it. The debate stems largely from the health value of nonfermented soy found in a great many processed foods in relation to those that use the much healthier alternative fermented soy.
Why? Nonfermented soy products contain phytic acid, which contains anti-nutritive properties. Phytic acid binds with certain nutrients, including iron, to inhibit their absorption. This is a direct, physical effect that takes place in the digestive system. Their ability to bind is limited by the milligrams of phytic acid present.
Products using nonfermented soy include:
Fresh green soybeans
Whole dry soybeans
Soy milk
What makes unfermented soy particularly unsafe: It's hard to avoid soy in processed foods such as baby formula, meat substitutes, drinks and snacks. One can find it in a great many domestically-produced food products at the grocery store. Additionally, soy is sanctioned by groups like the Soy Protein Council and USDA that cite the presence of isoflavones scientists say reduces one's risk of cancer.
On the other hand, fermented soy stops the effect of phytic acid and increases the availability of isoflavones. The fermentation also creates the probiotics--the "good" bacteria the body is absolutely dependent on, such as lactobacilli--that increase the quantity, availability, digestibility and assimilation of nutrients in the body.
Products using fermented soy include:
Soy sauces
Fermented tofu and soymilk
Many studies have shown traditionally fermented soy--which is the form that is very popular in many Asian cultures--aids in preventing and reducing a variety of diseases including certain forms of heart disease and cancers.
Good Foods
One such study of the culturing method involved in the production of the Japanese traditional food miso concluded the culturing process itself led to a lower number and growth rate of cancers. Researchers also found it was not the presence of any specific nutrient that was cultured along with the soyabean paste but the cultured soy medium itself that was responsible for the health benefits associated with eating miso.
Miso, a fermented or probiotic form of soyabean, is particularly rich in the isoflavone aglycones, genistein and daidzein, which are believed to be cancer chemopreventatives.
The health benefits are found to be as good with natto, according to research conducted by a Japanese scientist who found natto had the highest fibrinolytic activity among 200 foods produced worldwide. About 15 years ago, that same scientist discovered an enzyme produced in the fermentation process, nattokinase, a powerful agent contained in the sticky part of natto that dissolves blood clots that lead to heart attacks, strokes and senility.
Natto also contains vitamin K2 and isophrabon, which help to prevent diseases such as osteoporosis and breast cancer and slow down the aging process.
How Do Fermented Foods Work?
Scientists have considered three different theories:
Primary active ingredients in complex fermented soy "foods" act synergistically with secondary compounds
Secondary compounds mitigate the undesirable side effects caused by the predominant active ingredients
Multiple ingredients act through multiple discrete pathways to therapeutically affect the host. That allows lower concentrations of each of the botanicals or soy phytochemicals to be more efficacious when used together than when used individually
Four years ago, the World Health Organization reported the Japanese, who consume large amounts of fermented soy foods like natto and miso along with green tea, ginger and ocean herbs, have the longest lifespan of any people in the world.
Unfortunately, Americans didn't make the top 20 for lengthy lifespans, which has much to do with a Western diet that emphasizes foods that are processed and genetically altered. That could have a domino effect worldwide on the health of other cultures. Experts fear consumers in other cultures may abandon their traditional fermented foods for a more Western diet, losing healthy sources of probiotic whole food nutrition.

Ziti with Ratatouille cook along

In a skillet brown with some olive oil the onion for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add thick sliced garlic and brown for another 5 minutes. Remove garlic slices. Add eggplant some more olive oil and salt and pepper. Brown another 10 minutes. Remove to bowl.

Add more oil to skillet, cook peppers & zucchini. Brown for 8 minutes. Remove to bowl with other cooked vegetables.
Add tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt & pepper to skillet and gently boil for 10 minutes. Boil in another pot, water for ziti (or rigitoni). Cook pasta and drain.

Add vegetables to tomatoes in skillet and cook a few minutes more.

Add vegetables to bowl of ziti and mix. Top with parmesan cheese. Serve with roasted garlic french bread.

Thursday 4/16

I got this from an old Rachael Ray magazine. It was under the Take 5.

I lb linguine, cooked, drained +
1 onion, sliced (browned with garlic) +
4 cloves garlic, minced (browned with onion) +
1 lb asparagus (cooked in 1/4 c water until tender) +
crushed red pepper

Add all together and toss. Salt & pepper. Done.

Wednesday 4/15

The plan is Greek Salad. I will give you my recipe but...the boys have a 4H music project to do. We have to be there at 4 and won't leave until after 6 so that means we will be to late for church and we will have the boys so no dinner out for us. So what else? Dinner out for all of us. I hope we have some ribbons or accomplishments to celebrate. You do celebrate accomplishments don't you? Okay just checking. I pray the angels are dancing to the music tomorrow night and that God is well pleased.

Greek Salad
Prepare romaine lettuce and put in a bowl. Add everything cut and prepared:
cucumber, sliced
1/2 small red onion, diced
15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
kalamata olives, cut in half
3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
red bell pepper, sliced

garlic clove minced
1 shallot minced
1 tsp each dried oregano, thyme and salt
pinch of sugar
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2/3 c olive oil

Monday & Tuesday

Please forgive me. I do realize today is Tuesday and I forgot to give the recipes for yesterday and now today. Could I appease you with pictures? Yes! Great! Here is the recipe, go and get all the ingredients now! Hurray...

Oh and don't forget the movie!

Ziti with Ratatouille
1/2 c olive oil
1 onion, diced
8 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium eggplant, diced
salt & pepper
1 green pepper, diced
1 pound dried ziti
3 medium zucchini, sliced and cut into 1/4 moon pieces
2 (28oz) cans drained diced tomatoes
fresh parsley and basil
wedge of REAL Parmesan cheese

Go, back or be square. Yes I said it, even if only to myself.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Menu

Normally we have family over for dinner but since we are here with none near we are having dinner at home, just us. I like that. So I don't want to cook a ham or a lamb. So the next best thing, well voiced by my children is...drum roll please... Shepherd's Pie. Yes, really, the kids LOVE this stuff. I gave this recipe before but will bring it up again. And strawberry & spinach salad, doesn't that just speak spring?

Shepherd's Pie
Set a big pot with water to boiling for making mashed potatoes on high when it comes to a boil add diced potatoes to soften.
Brown 2 lbs ground beef with 1 onion diced and sea salt in a skillet.
When done pour into a casserole dish.
In the same skillet add about 1/2 c bragg's or soy sauce, a spoonful of bacon grease or other grease, 1/4 c water, 3 carrots sliced, pkg of mushrooms chopped
Simmer for about 10 minutes with a lid on to keep water from evaporating.
Add about 2 tbsp flour and let this cook stirring it for 1 minute
Add about 1/2 c milk mixed with 1/4 c water to skillet and make a gravy.
If you need more liquid add water a little at a time. We don't want this to soupy though. Now pour this over the meat in the casserole dish. After the potatoes cook, drain and put back in the pot. Add 1/4 c butter some milk, salt and pepper. Beat until semi smooth top your casserole now with the potatoes. Add some paprika and 1/4 c pats of butter to the top and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Strawberry Spinach Salad
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion
10 ounces fresh spinach - rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1 quart strawberries - cleaned, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Cover, and chill for one hour.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crunch
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 cups diced rhubarb
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup rolled oats
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix white sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, strawberries, and rhubarb. Place the mixture in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, butter, and oats until crumbly. You may want to use a pastry blender for this. Crumble on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp and lightly browned.

Have a wonderful Easter. I hope we all come to the real knowledge of what He has done for us because He loves us! I am His and He is mine.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hello & Happy Easter

We are back home but have been busy with getting regular life back in order. If there is such a thing as regular life??? I think anything called spring break is really a curse. It is just to hard to come back from one and get back into school days. I actually do better during the winter. I can get through that. Now spring, that is a different story! So you will notice I changed the dates over to the right at the Menu at a Glance for next week and I will just post here our menu for the next few days.

Chicken Sausage
Trader Joe's makes these great chicken mango sausages, use those or some other type.
Cook and cube sausage. Toss with cooked linguine or angel hair pasta. Add 6 oz feta cheese, plum tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil and the juice from one lime.


1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
12 slices bacon
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup minced onion
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups light cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Place bacon in a large skillet, and fry over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels, then chop coarsely. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion into pastry shell.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Pour mixture into pastry shell.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), and bake an additional 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Allow quiche to sit 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.