More Garden Bounty

For those of you new to the blog, I was formerly an obese and chronically malnourished food addict who has been completely set free from all food addictions and eating disorders; including anorexia, nutrient restrictive dieting, yo-yo dieting, and binge eating disorder as result of embracing the nutritarian lifestyle that’s described in Eat to Live and Eat for Health. Here is my transformation.

It’s been hot and sunny in Indiana, and the tomatoes are ripening almost faster than I can pick them. This novice gardener is becoming addicted to growing vegetables as I’m already starting to plan my garden for next year!

I discovered a practical and innovative way to store up the bountiful harvest.

I took the overflowing supply of garden vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, kale, and tomatoes galore; and combined them with various other vegetables that I had on hand, and made a “Harvest Puree” that I’m freezing to use as a base for soups, sauces, and even salad dressings this upcoming winter.

I followed the basic principles of making Anti-Cancer Soup as demonstrated in Joel and Lisa Fuhrman’s Secrets to Healthy Cooking DVD, except I used less water to make it the thickness of sauce instead of soup.

The puree is a deep shade of red, and full of vital nutrients.

Cost?

Cheaper than a bottle of cough syrup, trip to the doctor, and three days of missed work productivity.

Cheaper than a trip to the plus size “fashion” store to buy yet another size of black stretch pants.

Cheaper than the quart of cookie dough ice cream on the way home to drown the sorrows.

And cheaper than the anti-acid medicine needed before bed.

And much cheaper than the vial of insulin (a.k.a. liquid gold) that will be needed on down the road.

Cost?

Priceless.

Nutritional excellence; cheaper than…you fill in the blank!

CSA Boxed Share 8.17.09

Yesterday was interesting, just look at that bizarre mutant tomato! I think it’s related to Swamp Thing. But the rest of the box share was pretty tame: basil, lettuce, parsley, zucchini, squash, green peppers, purple peppers, garlic, potatoes, cabbage, eggplant, hot peppers and more tomatoes. All good stuff!

 

Lycopene Makes Healthier Blood Vessels

Go eat a big fat tomato! Because a new study in the journal Atherosclerosis reveals lycopene—an antioxidant found in red and pink fruits and vegetables—lowers LDL and improves artery health:

Oxidation of LDLs is thought to play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Increasing LDL's resistance to oxidation is thought to possibly delay the progression of the disease.

“Our finding suggests that serum concentrations of lycopene may play a important role in the early stage of atherosclerosis,” wrote the researchers, led by Jong Ho Lee from the Department of Food and Nutrition at Yonsei University in South Korea.

“In addition, a reduced oxidative modification of LDL such as low oxidised LDL concentration and large LDL particle size may be one of the mechanisms by which lycopene could reduce arterial stiffness and the risk of CVD,” [reseachers] added.

Dr. Fuhrman is a big fan of lycopene. In fact, he calls tomatoes—which are loaded with lycopene—one of his ten super fruits and vegetables to eat everyday. Here’s more about tomatoes and his list:

Tomatoes have been a hot topic in recent years because their consumption has been linked to dramatic reduction in the incidence of common cancers. One of the tomatoes' heavily investigated anti-cancer phytochemicals is lycopene, which has been shown to be protective against cancer, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancers.

  • Black raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Flax Seeds
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli sprouts

Via Nutra Ingredients.

Image credit: Zeetz Jones

Eating to Live on the Outside: Slice

Happy Saturday! Time for another Eating to Live on the Outside—hope you’re ready. This week we’re “off” to New York City to check out Slice, a pizza place, an organic pizza place. Relax! It’s better than it sounds. Here’s a short list of things that might tickle your fancy.

Fresh Salad

  • Organic mesclun greens, carrots, cucumbers, plum tomatoes and choice of carrot ginger dressing or balsamic vinaigrette; looks good, but dressing on the side.

Beginner Hummus

  • Herb crust, caramelized onions, organic hummus and kalamata olives; the olives are a little iffy, but if you don’t eat them all the time. No worries.

Wizard Bruschetta

  • Honey whole wheat crust, all-natural marinara sauce, bruschetta topping: tomatoes, red onions, basil, sundried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and olive oil; if you like tomatoes, this one should get your motor running.

The Radha

  • Honey whole wheat crust, organic hummus, kalamata olives and fresh bruschetta topping; same deal with the olives, just don’t make a habit out of it.

Slice is certainly more health-friendly than most pizza joints! Now, if I really had to pick something. I’m going to be bold today. I’ll go with the Wizard Bruschetta. I know, the salad has more greens, but fresh tomatoes, onions and basil is pretty hard to pass up. What do you think?

Image credit: Slice

The Bounty of Gardening

This is a recent harvest from my garden. I’m learning the fine art of growing vegetables this year, and having a blast working in my garden, especially in the early mornings when everything is still and quiet.

When I was chronically malnourished and obese, I ate a steady diet of peanut butter sandwiches, processed cereal with milk, spaghetti and garlic bread, beef and noodles, cottage cheese, meatloaf, pizza, and chicken nuggets. A garden was not even a blimp on my radar screen of desire. Now, after a year of eating nutrient dense foods, just looking at a picture of vegetables makes my mouth water.

One of my favorite ways to serve zucchini and tomatoes is to line a rectangular, stoneware pan with foil (to simplify clean-up), and layer slices of yams, cut up zucchini, tomatoes, onions, a bit of minced garlic, Dr. Fuhrman’s MatoZest, and juice from one lemon. I seal everything with a top layer of foil, and put the pan into a 425 degree, pre-heated oven for an hour. Afterwards, while still encased in foil, I let it stand for another half hour before serving, which causes flavors to blend together. I then serve with a fresh pot of lentil stew, sliced cucumbers, (also from the garden), steamed broccoli, chunks of cantaloupe, and raw almonds, resulting in an inexpensive, delicious, and nourishing meal for any family.

CSA Boxed Share 8.10.09

Ugh! It hardly feels like summer this year with all the rain we've been having. If it wasn’t for my CSA box shares I think I’d pack up shop and move to California. Luckily, this week was a good haul. It cheered me up a bit.

As you can see, I got a whole box of tomatoes, plus cherry tomatoes, cabbage, corn, shallots, green bell peppers, garlic, potatoes, zucchini and yellow squash. After I split it with my buddy, I took home half the tomatoes, some potatoes, the squash, a few shallots and the garlic. Sweet!

CSA Boxed Share 8.4.09

Despite the rainy, depressing weather, yesterday’s box share brightened up my day. Tomatoes are one of my favorite vegetables, so I was stoked when I found two containers of cherry tomatoes, along with regular tomatoes, corn, cabbage, basil, shallots, zucchini, garlic, potatoes and onions.

Now, until my garbage tomato starts bearing fruit—no doubt it’s been delayed by the unseasonably cool summer—I’ll have to make do with these tomatoes. Okay, so after the split with my friend I got some potatoes, shallots, corn, onions, zucchini and of course tomatoes. Sweet!

 

Fresh Garlic Better Than Garlic Powder, Duh!

I’m Italian, so I’m required to like garlic, but that garlic powder I grew up on can’t hold a candle to fresh garlic. A new study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry claims that raw, crushed garlic has more heart-protective effects than the dried stuff.

In the study, Dipak K. Das and colleagues point out that raw, crushed garlic generates hydrogen sulfide through a chemical reaction. Although best known as the stuff that gives rotten eggs their distinctive odor, hydrogen sulfide also acts as a chemical messenger in the body, relaxing blood vessels and allowing more blood to pass through. Processed and cooked garlic, however, loses its ability to generate hydrogen sulfide.

The scientists gave freshly crushed garlic and processed garlic to two groups of lab rats, and then studied how well the animals' hearts recovered from simulated heart attacks. "Both crushed and processed garlic reduced damage from lack of oxygen, but the fresh garlic group had a significantly greater effect on restoring good blood flow in the aorta and increased pressure in the left ventricle of the heart," Das said.

Garlic is one of the foods Dr. Fuhrman recommends diabetics eat plenty of, along side green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions. Sometimes I bake garlic cloves in the oven and spread it on wholegrain bread.

Via EurekAlert!

Image credit: Ian-S

CSA Boxed Share 7.27.09

I really didn’t want to leave the house yesterday. It was hot and sticky—I hate the humidity—but I had to. My CSA box share was waiting and even though I split the share with a friend. I’m the go-for. Luckily, it was a good haul this week: wild flowers, red onion, scallions, tomatoes, potatoes, parsley, garlic, cucumbers, zucchini and some sort of squash.

My friend just had a kid. So I let her keep the flowers. She looked like she went a few rounds with Mike Tyson. So they brightened up her day. Plus, she didn’t want much else. My friend only took a few potatoes and some scallions and red onions. I kept the cucumbers and gave the rest of the stuff to my mom. She’s a much better cook than me.

CSA Boxed Share 7.20.09

The CSA gods were good to me again this week. My box share did not disappoint. Yesterday we got red potatoes, red leaf lettuce, scallions, garlic, zucchini, cucumbers, red cabbage, tomatoes and basil. Splitting it with my friend was hard, but we managed.

After a brief fist fight—mind you, she is 9 months pregnant—we divided up the potatoes, scallions, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and lettuce and I kept the red cabbage. She took the garlic and the basil. I’m Italian. My mom grows enough basil to feed an army.