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5 Easy Weeknight Meals: Your 7 Day Family Jump Start!

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The Yearly Garden Report 2016

Another year, another garden report! I can’t quite declare success. Our tomato plants went crazy for some reason and kind of took over everything else. However, they didn’t produce many ripe tomatoes because the plants grew so big that our supports weren’t enough. Next year we’ll have to start out by caging the tomatoes. Or, as I always say, maybe skip the garden and spend the money paying higher prices at the local farmers market! But my son gets so excited about his garden with grandma, I just can’t break his heart and say no.

Could you say no this kid? See below. He is so proud of cleaning out the garden with grandma and picking his sweet potatoes.

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And no, I have no idea why he demanded to wear fleece pants but refused to wear a shirt on this hot day!

We did enjoy basil, mint, parsley and the occasional cherry tomato from the garden. We also enjoyed going to the farmers market where the kids picked out their own baby cantaloupes, bright yellow crookneck squash, and blueberries. In the meantime, my son is enjoying the garden at his new school and telling his class all about his home garden.

 

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See below for the pizza we made using the squash. Some used real cheese, some nutritional yeast, and some used vegan cheese.

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I sliced the squash thin and lengthwise, using a mandolin.

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Isn’t that pretty?

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Lay the slices out on parchment paper. Heat oven to 350.

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Add sauce, oregano, garlic powder, your favorite cheese (or vegan cheese or nutritional yeast) and tiny diced veggies if desired.

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Bake until warmed through, softened and the cheese is melted. (Approximately 10 minutes)

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What fun, healthy pizzas do you make? Head on over to my facebook page and tell us!

2 Great News Items for your Family’s Health!

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed your summer and are not letting the start of the school year stress you out too much. See my previous camp and school lunch ideas and stay tuned for more! Also coming up soon, new product reviews and Jewish holiday menus and recipes.

So, here is the great news!

#1

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If you have read my book, “The Healthy Mama’s Guide to feeding your family well – simply and sanely,” you know that triclosan, a common antibacterial ingredient in soap and hand sanitizer doesn’t work well, doesn’t prevent colds or flu, and actually may contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Now, the FDA has banned the use of triclosan and triclocarban in some products. “The FDA’s final rule covers only consumer antibacterial soaps and body washes that are used with water. It does not apply to hand sanitizers or hand wipes. It also does not apply to antibacterial soaps that are used in health care settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes.”

See this NPR story for more information about the ban of those two chemicals and 17 more. This is a great start towards dealing with the increased antibiotic resistance we’re facing as a society. Another great step would be to ban the routine use of antibiotics in food-producing animals. See this CDC page for more information.

#2

Some of you may recall that I actually started a change.org petition to take the food coloring out of Wacky Mac, the kosher version of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I thought if Kraft could do it for the masses, why should the Jewish kids still suffer? :) I’m happy to tell you that Wacky Mac took out the food coloring!

They’re following the trend of General Mills, Kellogg’s and many other companies who are phasing out artificial food coloring in many products. Very soon, Fruit Loops and Trix will no longer contain artificial food coloring. That certainly doesn’t mean they’ll be healthful, but at least one piece of fruit of the poisonous tree will be eliminated!

 

99¢ GF, V, LS-Simple Healthy Delights

I hope everyone is having a great summer! Mine has obviously been busy because you haven’t heard from me in a few weeks!

One thing I’ve been doing is cooking from this great new cookbook sent to me for review.

“Simple Healthy Delights: Quick and Tasty Plant Based Recipes for Everyone” by Angie Hofmann
(Gluten-Free, Vegan, Low Sugar)

This cookbook is ideal if you are looking to build your skills making plant-based meals. Many of the recipes are raw and will help focus you on vegetables and other whole food ingredients.

Simple Healthy Delights
(If you are reading this blog post in your email, you’ll have to “click to view in your browser” to see the links below.)

Some of the recipes I’ve made include the following (see my notes below):

l. Lemon Herb Dressing
This dressing was delicious. I just wanted to find more things to pour it on. The recipe makes a lot, fyi.

2. Greek Salad
It’s a Greek Salad that is sans-feta, but still delicious. There are many Tofu Feta recipes online, including this one from The Washington Post that I made recently. Although delicious, I didn’t want to take the effort to make it again, so I added thin slices of one of the few of the new sophisticated nut cheeses that is Kosher certified, Treeline Cheese. It’s not the same flavor, but definitely delicious.

3. Hearts of Palm and Cucumber Salad
This recipe calls for a light dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and salt. With all that lemon herb dressing around, I couldn’t help but just pour that on! There are a series of cucumber salads that can help you focus on the pleasure of fresh, raw vegetables.

4.  Almond Lemon Spread
This is basically a nut pate. I used it in many ways, including in a nori wrap with red pepper and spinach; on Plentils Garlic Parmesan crackers; and on top of baby kale.

5. Cold Cucumber Mint Soup
I was able to make this using mint from my backyard. I liked it. However, I recommend it as a refreshing appetizer in shot glasses, rather than a soup you would sit and eat from a big bowl with a spoon.

6. (Raw) Amazing Chocolate “Cream” Pie
For the uninitiated, in the world of plant-based cooking, “cream” is achieved using cashews and the pie is solidified in the freezer, not the oven. In the directions for this pie, Angie Hofmann suggests pulling it out of the freezer and waiting 10 minutes before eating for just the right texture. She is right! I tried it a couple minutes after pulling it out and then 10 minutes later. Amazing. It did require pulling out the food processor, but it was worth it to me.

For 99 cents, you certainly can’t go wrong with the e-book!