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This last weekend I happily walked into a conversation about food and health between B and his mother. I mean you know I write about recipes and I have some strongly grounded feelings about food but I just didn’t realize that they stick.

B was explaining how our health has improved by our food choices, the benefit of living foods, buying local, and reading the ingredients in what you eat.

You might imagine that I’m lecturing at home, I am not. I do make a point of pointing out preservatives, noting organics, using phone apps and reading up on things. I guess that approach works.

Gives me lots to think about, including a big smile.

Anyway… Found this article at the LA TIMES || Food Section. Enjoy.

Scott

((ARTICLE EXCERPT))

Loving legumes

From the pinto beans of Mexico to the chickpeas of the Middle East, legumes — a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas and lentils — are as near to a perfect food as you can find.

A 1/2-cup portion of legumes, on average, contains at least 20 percent DV (Daily Value, requirement based on a 2,000-calorie diet) for fiber, folate and manganese; 10 percent DV for protein, potassium, iron, magnesium and copper; and 6 to 8 percent DV for selenium and zinc.

Factor in that beans are economical, easy to store for long periods and suit a number of cooking styles, and it’s easy to see why they have been such staple fare for years. And modern science reveals even more reasons to love legumes: They have been linked to lower blood cholesterol levels, lower body weight, higher intake of dietary fiber and lower rates of heart diseasehypertension, some types of cancer and diabetes. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you eat at least three cups of legumes each week. So, what are you waiting for? Dig into legumes with the following helpful hints.

Power food – latimes.com.

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Found this lovely in my inbox, from Bon Appétit. I love chilled soups, B’s not such a fan but I’m going to couple it with the Shrimp, Mango, Avocado salad (here). It’s going to be hot this weekend in LA, cold, fresh foods sound the best!

Scott

********

Chilled Corn Soup with Adobo Swirl

Adobo is the spicy tomato sauce that comes in the can with chipotle chiles. Look for canned chipotles at supermarkets, specialty foods stores, and Latin markets.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Recipe by Bon Appétit Test Kitchen
Photograph by Scott Peterson
July 2005

Chilled Corn Soup with Adobo Swirl

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui)
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 3 ears of corn)
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 cup (or more) water
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

PREPARATION

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add corn kernels, broth, and 1 tablespoon lime juice; bring mixture to boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and simmer until corn is just tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Working in batches, puree soup in blender until almost smooth.
  • Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 cup water (or more as needed to thin soup to desired consistency).
  • Season corn soup to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer soup to large bowl; cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.
  • Meanwhile, whisk remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and adobo sauce in small bowl to blend. Divide chilled corn soup among 4 bowls. Drizzle soup with adobo oil, then garnish with cilantro and serve.
    This and many other great recipe’s can be found at http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2005/07/chilled_corn_soup_with_adobo_swirl

    – – –

    Be well,

    Scott K Smith
    http://lifencompass.com

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    An interesting article on research linking polyphenolics, found in fruits and vegetables, that could indicate an antioxidant/anti-inflammatory effect on aging (the brain).

    Another point to tick on eating basics: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Earth’s bounty.

    Be well,

    Scott

    ((ARTICLE))

    Eating berries may activate the brain’s natural housekeeper for healthy aging

    Shibu Poulose, Ph.D., who presented the report, said previous research suggested that one factor involved in aging is a steady decline in the body’s ability to protect itself against inflammation and oxidative damage. This leaves people vulnerable to degenerative brain diseases, heart disease, cancer, and other age-related disorders.

    “The good news is that natural compounds called polyphenolics found in fruits, vegetables and nuts have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect that may protect against age-associated decline,” said Poulose, who is with the U. S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston. Poulose did the research with James Joseph, Ph.D., who died June 1. Joseph, who headed the laboratory, pioneered research on the role of antioxidants in fruits and nuts in preventing age-related cognitive decline.

    Their past studies, for instance, showed that old laboratory rats fed for two months on diets containing 2 percent high-antioxidant strawberry, blueberry, or blackberry extract showed a reversal of age-related deficits in nerve function and behavior that involves learning and remembering.

    In the new research, Poulose and Joseph focused on another reason why nerve function declines with aging. It involves a reduction in the brain’s natural house-cleaning process. Cells called microglia are the housekeepers. In a process called autophagy, they remove and recycle biochemical debris that otherwise would interfere with brain function.

    “But in aging, microglia fail to do their work, and debris builds up,” Poulose explained. “In addition, the microglia become over-activated and actually begin to damage healthy cells in the brain. Our research suggests that the polyphenolics in berries have a rescuing effect. They seem to restore the normal housekeeping function. These findings are the first to show these effects of berries.”

    The findings emerged from research in which Joseph and Poulose have tried to detail factors involved in the aging brain’s loss of normal housekeeping activity. Using cultures of mouse brain cells, they found that extracts of berries inhibited the action of a protein that shuts down the autophagy process.

    Poulose said the study provides further evidence to eat foods rich in polyphenolics. Although berries and walnuts are rich sources, many other fruits and vegetables contain these chemicals ― especially those with deep red, orange, or blue colors. Those colors come from pigments termed anthocyanins that are good antioxidants. He emphasized the importance of consuming the whole fruit, which contains the full range of hundreds of healthful chemicals. Frozen berries, which are available year round, also are excellent sources of polyphenolics, he added.

    Provided by American Chemical Society (news : web)

    via Eating berries may activate the brain’s natural housekeeper for healthy aging.

    …Favorite blogs.

    I’m a little low energy this weekend and I got nothing accomplished. On Friday night I went to a birthday and took a tumble in The Mezz bar (Downtown Los Angeles) over a dark little step that wasn’t roped off or lit well. Long story short, I walked through the front door and while marveling at the old-style architecture, cornices, and other details, I failed to see the step/stage in the middle of the floor. Brandon pointed out that while he was looking at me the lights were right in my face and it made it almost impossible to see the step. Which I hit with my foot causing me to loudly and painfully fall right on my upper chest, hands, and arm.

    I’m still in a good deal of pain but the second day isn’t as bad as the first. This week will be interesting as I attempt to do my normal routine. At this point getting out of bed is an interesting maneuver in avoiding pain while wiggling down to the edge to lean off the mattress and onto my feet. Bear with me, please. Send some healing (for my greater health and healing) if you would like. An harm none.

    Any-who-who, I need to do a little shout out to some of the blogs I read, often. These are the blogs that give me some food for thought (listed alphabetically). On days like today they are essential reading. Homebound and sitting around a lot can get monotonous. It’s not like this world cup game is any entertaining.

    Without further adieu…

    Blogs.

    101 Cookbooks

    Heidi Swanson (aptly  named don’t ya think?) creates some of the most yummy looking and tasty dishes. Often simple, with natural whole grains, vegetables and good foods.

    http://www.101cookbooks.com/

    Chatishin “Life/Art/Life”

    Chati Coronel brings art to us as a provocative spiritual practice. It’s breathy, inspiring, and transformative. Once our neighbor, Chati, her husband and Edber, and beautiful little daughter Mecha have moved but you can follow along and explore her latest journey through her blog.

    I find her poetic process of creation most interesting.

    http://chatishine.blogspot.com/

    East Village Boys

    Great photography, writing, and often some awesome beats to go along with the flavor of the week, East Village Boys has been the spotlight of all sorts of amazing creative folk. Sexy, funny, dirty, real, entertaining.

    http://www.eastvillageboys.com/

    Food Renegade

    This is another new site for me, introduced by Carla Golden. The Food Renegade is not just about food on the “eating level” but what is IN your food, why it could be controversial and / or unhealthy and how to shift our perspective. From the site:

    Everyone has an idea of what “healthy” food is. Vegans, vegetarians, Paleo dieters, Atkins-for-lifers. You. Me. For most of us, this food worldview takes shape unconsciously as we go about our lives absorbing the not-so subtle messages of food marketers.

    Most of us grew up thinking fat was evil. Food manufacturers paraded a host of low-fat options in front of consumers. Margarine was supposed to be “healthier” than butter; skim milk was supposed to be better than whole milk. People picked up low-fat versions of their favorite junk foods and felt wise and healthy.  Saturated fats were the devil incarnate. Avoid red meat! Chicken is king! Cholesterol is bad; avoid eggs. But as a nation, we still grew more obese and sickly.

    When the Atkins diet became the rage, breadmakers went out of business all across the country. Low-carb became our new mantra. Even if we didn’t jump on board the Atkins bandwagon, we still probably hold some residual low-carb prejudices.

    The average person’s food worldview is a wild and often contradictory mix of popular nutritional mumbo-jumbo.We walk through the supermarket and are inundated with marketing messages left and right — all of which make some sort of health claims. We pick up on these hints, add them to our conflicted understanding of what is and is not good for us, and wait for the next nutritional expert to tell us how to eat.

    But what we eat shouldn’t be determined by diet dictocrats. It should be determined by history, culture, and traditional cuisines.

    We have lived for thousands of years on this planet. Every native community has a highly developed food culture — what food to eat when, how it should be prepared and eaten, what it should be eaten with, and what foods are taboo and should be avoided.

    http://www.foodrenegade.com/

    for the love of yum

    Another great food blog. Although it isn’t always “vegi” I think that the food prepared and presented has been simply delicious. We’ve dipped into FtLoY a few times for parties, dinners and snacks. This blog, like many food blogs that I consider great, draws me in through the food, photography, and the personal stories that come around them.

    http://fortheloveofyum.wordpress.com/

    Herbivoracious

    I think it was iHerb who turned me onto to Herbivoracious. I’ve only just started to receive the blog and recipe’s in my rss reader. So far, so good! From the blog, “Herbivoracious is all about reinvigorating vegetarian cuisine with modern techniques and bold, authentic flavors.”

    http://fortheloveofyum.wordpress.com/

    Runeworker

    Christopher is a great and informative teacher of the Runes. His daily draws and explanation combine ancient verse and meaning for meditation on the Runes.

    I have to say that his class over at Points of Light, in Long Beach, is AMAZING. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’m glad I signed up.

    http://blottytinesrunemagic.blogspot.com/

    Strategic Sorcery

    Hours of entertainment. This guy is a brain. His “ask me anything” blog has had me going ‘huh?’ a few times and caused several nose dives into books, research, and internet scavenging to learn more.

    http://strategicsorcery.blogspot.com/

    The Healthy Haven

    The Healthy Haven is the iHerb.com blog. An informative read about foods, supplements, herbs, oils and uses. I picked up the Quinoa recipe through the Healthy Haven!

    http://thehealthyhaven.wordpress.com/

    ****

    Here’s hoping you enjoy the reads and are having a good Sunday!

    – – –
    Be well,

    Scott K Smith
    http://lifencompass.com

    Want to support Lifencompass?
    Subscribe via RSS. Leave a comment, those are always appreciated. Submit something for posting, topics and ideas are welcome.

    Scott Lifencompass

    Like. Like. Like. Like. Like.

    I can’t wait to try. Thank you Tes for the recipe, ‘how-to’ and great family photos!

    Scott

    Homemade Pasta with Mushroom and Asparagus Homemade pasta is something to cheer your kid up. Nothing stop Yaseen from running around the house making a mess like show him a big plate of freshly made pasta with rich hearty meat sauce. Making pasta seems to a lot of work. “Why can’t I just snug a bag of dry spaghetti from my pantry and drop them in the boiling water? Won’t it do the justice?” if you haven’t tried the fresh pasta, you wouldn’t know how different and amazing the fresh pasta i … Read More

    via Homewarming

    Last weekend we celebrated the 4th of July with friends and a grill in Pasadena, everything was kabobs! Okay.  Not “everything” because we did have some great rosemary potato salad and a fantastic curried mango and lentil salad, which went perfect with this recipe we brought along with us.

    Mango Marinated Tofu Kabobs

    ((BLOG EXCERPT))

    I marinated tofu for several hours and basted some veggies from our garden to make kabobs that we grilled for dinner – they were delicious. I, like Ben Stiller in “There’s Something About Mary”, love food on a stick … just make mine vegan. Something about food on a stick just says summer time. The marinade would probably work as well on seitan or tempeh and on any veggie of your choice. It’s also quite adaptable – by adjusting the curry or adding more chili garlic sauce or chipotle … or Tabasco… you can make your kabobs as spicy as you’d like. Enjoy the experiment!

    ********

    I want to point out that we couldn’t find any eggplant but I think that the marinade is the most important aspect. Tofu, IMO, is rather bland and the marinade creates the flavor.

    Mango Marinade

    1 ripe mango
    2 tbsp teriyaki
    1 clove garlic
    ½ tbsp sesame oil
    1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
    1 tsp curry
    ½ tsp chili garlic sauce

    Process all ingredients in food processor until smooth.

    Check out this recipe and the Pacific Outpost via Mango Marinated Tofu Kabobs « Cooking at the Pacific Outpost.

    Be well,

    Scott

    Special Thanks to Abby for feeding us this post. 🙂 Looks like we all have something new to try this weekend! I think I have most of this in my cupboard.

    We’ve been grilling the Rachael Ray recipe, Portabello  Mushrooms, and either eating them on salads or off the grill on buns. This aught to mix things up and still satisfy the summertime flavor bug for grilled or BBQ food.

    Scott

    ((BLOG EXCERPT + RECIPE))

    QUINOA BURGERS WITH GREEK YOGURT DRESSING

    The original recipe used breadcrumbs to bind everything, which I forgot when it came time to make these. The patties held up fine without them, just be sure the mixture is chilled before forming them. Use the leftover quinoa mixture to make two large patties topped with a new batch of yogurt dressing, sans pita bread for a few less carbs, if you monitor that sort of thing.

    Recipe adapted from Whole Living

    Serves 2, plus generous leftovers

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
    • 1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
    • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
    • 15 ounces great northern beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • Coarse salt
    • Ground pepper
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
    • Pitas, each 6 inches (I used two whole pitas to feed both of us, stuffing two paties inside each half)
    • 1/2 large English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally

    Directions

    In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil; add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, about 12 to 14 minutes. Set aside.

    While the quinoa cooks, cut each pita in half and warm in the microwave for 20 seconds. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, salt and pepper to taste, half the scallions and juice from half a lemon. Stir together and test for seasonings.

    In a food processor, pulse carrots until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, 3 remaining scallions, beans, egg and cumin. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and freshly cracked pepper. Pulse until combined and mostly smooth. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.

    Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add two turns of olive oil. Form mixture into 8 small patties (I used an ice cream scoop to make them uniform), about half an inch thick. Cook for three minutes per side, or until browned and the burgers are heated through. Set on paper towels to drain.

    To serve, gently open each pita and spoon a little dressing in the bottom. Add two patties, a few cucumbers, and more dressing, as desired.

    Read this entry Quinoa Burgers with Greek Yogurt Dressing – cooking after five – home and much more at Cooking After Five.

    Wednesday morning, while checking in with work, painting and prepping I tuned into the Today Show. Martha’s recipe for Salsa sounded delicious. So good I had to make it for dinner.

    Scott

    ((RECIPE))

    Salsa fresca
    Martha Stewart’s “Everyday Food”
    Serves four

    INGREDIENTS

    • • 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
    • • 1 small white onion, diced small
    • • 1 jalapeño, minced,
    • • 1 garlic clove, minced,
    • • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice.
    • • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
    • • Coarse salt and ground pepper

    DIRECTIONS

    Combine the tomatoes, chopped white onion, jalapeño, garlic and lime juice. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Stir to combine.

    Let sit at least 15 minutes or covered up to four hours.

    Just before serving, stir in the cilantro leaves.

    via Martha’s Tex-Mex recipes for summer barbecue – Today: Food: Recipe.

    In my love of spring rolls, and I do love them terribly, I find that I’ve got some severe hesitation when it comes to making them. It goes back to the days of trying and failing, trying and failing to make egg rolls.

    Any-who-who, I think I found my recipe that works.

    Scott

    ((RECIPE EXERPT))

    For a party icebreaker, serve these rolls Vietnamese style, with the fillings and the leafy wrappers laid out on a plate so everyone can roll their own.

    DIRECTIONS

    1. To make Lemon-Ginger Dipping Sauce: whisk together all ingredients and 1/2 cup water in small bowl.

    2. To make Spring Rolls: Fill each chard or lettuce leaf with pinch of carrots, beets, bell pepper, and sprouts. Top with basil and mint. Roll chard leaf around filling, tucking in edges. Serve with Dipping Sauce.

    Ingredients, and shopping list via Live Spring Rolls with Lemon-Ginger Dipping Sauce Recipe.

    Simply delicious.
    Sorry about the lack of photo but we devoured this before I had time to think.
    Good stuff!
    Indian Spiced Chickpea and Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), 2 turns of the pan
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
    • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, (2/3 palmful)
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • Salt and pepper
    • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes  (28-ounces)
    • 1 cup plain yogurt
    • Warm pita, any flavor or variety, toasted

    PREPARATION

    Heat a medium pot with EVOO over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Grind the chickpeas and onion in food processor. Add to pot and cook 5 minutes to sweeten onion. Season the chickpeas with cumin, cardamom, turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir in stock, then tomatoes. Simmer soup 5-10 minutes to combine flavors.

    Serve with a dollop of yogurt and warm pita for dipping.

    via Rachael Ray’s Official Website :: Indian Spiced Chickpea and Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup.

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