Tag Archives: Food

Foodie Friday: eat beets all day

Beets get a bad rap. So many years of only being available in the canned, pickled version really ruined them for a lot of people. I’d like to think the whole farmer’s market/local food thing we’ve got going on now has changed that for beets. My CSA had plentiful beets and I never tired of roasted beets in my salads.

Once I made a sweet potato smoothie. Recently left with a few roasted beets in the fridge, I wondered what a BEET SMOOTHIE would taste like. I think this smoothie contained 1/2-1 very ripe banana, plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup coconut milk and some frozen dark sweet cherries. And water.

It was actually delicious! No weird beet taste at all and it was the most beautiful brilliant red color. The photos with my very basic point and shoot just don’t do it justice. Because this is a quasi-medical blog I’m going to throw in a little TMI medical tidbit for you if you do plan on eating some beets – that beautful dark red color going IN also has to come OUT! Expect to see some evidence of this on the outflow side. (I know, I know, I’m sorry, but I’m a Doctor. I can talk about this stuff while I eat)! Enjoy . . .

P.S. Although I realize that this is going up on April Fool’s Day and some might consider the idea of a beet smoothie a joke, I assure you (with apologies to Seinfeld), this was REAL and it was FABULOUS!

Food Pantry Dilemma

Here’s some Thanksgiving food for thought.

A local business is holding a Thanksgiving food drive and collecting non-perishable food items from employees. To inspire a little friendly competition, the employees have been divided into teams, which get a point for each item brought in. Here’s the conundrum – to “win” the competition, it makes more sense for teams to buy the least expensive items they can. If I have $200 to spend and I go to the grocery and see things like 10 for $10 packages of instant noodles, I can get a lot of those but admittedly borderline nutritional value.

My advice to the shoppers was to look, where possible, for the healthier option. I recommended lower sodium canned goods, which actually seemed to be about equivalent in price. I also recommended granola bars, cereal bars, instant oatmeal (with lower sugar options if available). Whole wheat pastas were a lot more expensive than their traditional flour counterparts.

I also tried to think about ways to encourage healthier purchases. For example, maybe each item could be given a score (or utilize some of the scoring systems out there, like NuVal) and the team with the healthier scores would get more points. Or points subtracted for junk food.

Anyone have ideas about trying to incorporate healthier items into food drives? Is this even a realistic goal? Does it matter? Do you think food drives should have guidelines?

Foodie Friday: Atlanta

If you’ve been following me on twitter, you know that I’ve been in Atlanta at the 2010 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting, a gathering of 15,000 Rheumatologists and Rheumatology health care professionals. It’s truly information overload and a LOT to process, but also a chance to gather with old and new colleagues and friends. I’ll have more on that later.

But it’s Foodie Friday, so here’s the Atlanta dining summary. First of all, we were staying downtown around the Georgia World Congress Center and preferred that restaurants were walkable or not a terribly long cab ride. Second, the majority of the groups I dined with were vegetarians. Highly meat-centric or BBQ places were pretty much out.

Our first night we walked into The Peasant Bistro downtown, walkable from the hotel, recommended by the concierge. We enjoyed a creative cocktail menu, many vegetarian small plates and salads and tempting desserts. I had a burger which was not exactly a slider but not full sized. It had a sweet onion relish which was fantastic. I didn’t take photos.

Upon the recommendation of a friend of a friend who used to live in Atlanta, the next night we took a cab ride over to the Inman Park area and enjoyed the ambiance of SottoSotto. Lots of great pasta dishes. One with butternut squash and crispy sage I think was the winner. I wish it wasn’t dark and late – I would have liked to see that area a little more. The waiter was really nice and waited for a cab with us, as it seemed to take forever for it to come.

Another friend of a friend recommendation was Nan Thai – advertised to us as, “The best Thai I’ve ever had, maybe anywhere, but definitely in Atlanta.” While my dish was not as photogenic as this beautiful papaya salad with sweet sticky rice cakes and the curry that came in a pineapple bowl, I ate every bite of my salmon on red pumpkin curry rice. Someone in my party also had the roasted maple duck and it was fantastic.

My last day I wandered over to Centennial Olympic Park to soak up some of those sunny 75 degree skies I knew had long left Massachusetts. I figured, “eh, why not” when I saw the little burger hut by the fountain. What a surprise! Googie Burger had probably the best veggie burger I’ve ever had! With pepper jack cheese and BBQ sauce – incredible! And I figured, as long as I’m getting a veggie burger and no fries I’m being pretty healthy, right? I got a Georgia peach shake and amused the other diners as I tried to get the perfect shot:

Rounding out the food offerings was a pretty standard but good pizza at Max’s Coal Oven Pizza, which also won high points from being walkable from the convention center.

So, ATL friends – how did I do?

*Standard disclaimer – I paid for everything in full, no discussion of blogs, etc*

Foodie Friday: cherrywinks

When I read that Shutterbean’s great-grandmother was famous for a cookie called cherrywinks, I thought this would be a perfect recipe to make with my 93 year-old grandmother. I had never seen or tasted this type of cookie before and grandma said it was familiar but nothing she had ever made. I gathered all my ingredients and tried to get grandma in on the action. As you can imagine, 93 years on this earth can take its toll on the body and grandma soon decided she’d rather relax in her recliner and await the finished product. Despite my pleas that rolling dough balls would be good for arthritic fingers (a disadvantage of having a Rheumatologist relative), I continued alone. Click on the link above for the recipe and her wonderful step-by-step directions. These pictures show my results. They were very tasty and leftovers brought to work disappeared in minutes. A definite recipe to save!

Powerful Pomegranates

The other day, this article on the health benefits of pomegranates appeared in my reader. Great! I celebrated with a pomegranate margarita accompanying this delicious treat of a poblano pepper stuffed with ground beef and fruits and decorated with pomegranate arils. See photo! And taste for yourself, Boston locals, at Tu Y Yo. A few months ago some of my favorite bloggers got to take a tour of the pomegranate harvest in California. Here is a link to one of the recaps.