Green Series – Food for Life (Part 2/7)

This is week two of a course taught by The CANCER Project.  It was informative and oh so tasty!  I need to remember not to eat so much lunch before the class because I’m stuffed!  Click here to see the notes from week one.

Kale Smoothie Recap: I just tried making a fruit smoothie with kale.  I added banana, orange, blueberry, yogurt, and apple juice.  It was good.    Hubby said he could taste a little bit of herb, that he thought was shiso.  He he, we’ll do better next time.  I will try almond milk next time.  I think it missed the creaminess from the one in class.  It really tamed the kale.

Class Notes:

  1. It takes 21 days to change your taste buds.  I think there is a bit of truth in that because I have tried both a vegetarian diet and a dairy-free diet for over 21 days.  It gets easier for sure, but boy do I love my meat and dairy.  Dairy was far more difficult to give up than meat though and I don’t know if I have it in me to give up both at once.  I’m convinced that cutting down however is completely manageable!
  2. Sea-salt has more minerals than regular table salt.  Living near the coast, we don’t have to worry about lacking iodine in our diet.
  3. Excess Copper in your diet can increase your chances of dementia or alzheimer’s.  Common places copper is found is in multivitamins and also unfiltered tap water running through copper piping.  Think about investing in a reverse osmosis water filter.
  4. Avoid canned foods. Most can foods have an interior lining of BPA.  Pomi tomato sauce comes in a carton available at Trader Joe’s
  5. Tumeric is an age-old spice known for its healing powers.  Consider adding 1 teaspoon/day to your diet.  It’s terrible tasting but worth it.
  6. Cut down or eliminate oil from your diet; any kind of oil.
  7. EWG’s 2011 Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 – What to buy organic and what are lowest in pesticides.

Our Tasting Menu

Mango Salsa – I usually shy away from pre-made mango salsa because it’s just too sweet for me.  This version however was so fresh and tasty!  I’m definitely going to make it again soon; maybe tonight!  It’s a very simple recipe, the main ingredients being mango, tomato, and lime juice (cilantro, chilis, or red pepper flakes optional).  I may try some seasoned rice vinegar with it like they do here.

Low-Fat Guacamole – I love guacamole.  In fact I love anything avocado.  After tasting the huge butter avocados in Kona, I thought it might have ruined Hass for me, but we’ve had such good Hass avocados lately, I’ve been eating it almost daily. Yikes!  This version couldn’t have come at a better time to save my hips from the avo-belt I’m putting on.  It’s made with half green pea puree and half avocado and a bit of lime and salsa.  Wait!  Don’t run yet!  It’s really quite good.  Adjust the ratio to your liking, but I really liked it.  Yes, I could taste the peas, but the avocado still shines through.  It also gave the guac’ such a beautifully vibrant green color.  This WF version may be a bit too much peas for me, but may be a good starting point for some.

Calabacitas – Similar to this recipe except we used water instead of olive oil to cook, red onion, and added mushrooms and cumin.  I think I will experiment with using lentils, soy beans, and/or quinoa.  They sell this at our farmers market every Saturday morning using grilled zucchini – so yummy!  This healthy version we had is also great.  The best was having it on corn & wheat tortillas from Trader Joe’s, and the salsa and guacamole were tasty additions.  I almost didn’t miss the cheese; almost.

Next week I’ll post some real photos of our tasting menu, although possibly less glamorous looking :).  Happy Eating!