Saturday, March 13, 2010

Recipes and Food Rules!

First, thanks everyone for the best wishes! I'm really grateful for your wonderful support during the foster parenting process. (I will keep y'all posted, but there are a lot of rules regarding the children's privacy, so we won't be giving too many details from here on out.)

Second, I need some new recipes. Has anyone made something recently that's yummy and healthy that they could email me or post in the comments? I'm desperate for some new food ideas. (Don't worry if your recipe calls for stuff I can't tolerate, I'm really good at finding substitutions for just about any ingredient!)

Doesn't it seem like everyone you know right now has a cold or recently had a cold? Here's a recipe I wanted to share. I was sick with a cold a week ago and invented this really amazing chicken soup. I'm not a good cook, but this was super easy. It did the trick too--my cold didn't last long at all. Here's a yummy way to get a ton of veggies into your diet. (Only use the veggies you like. You don't have to use them all.)

2 48-ounce boxes of Swanson's chicken broth
10 green onions, sliced (1 cup)
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup celery, diced
3 teaspoons dried fines herbes
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 bay leaves

1/2 cup broccoli and/or
1/2 cup tomatoes and/or
1/2 cup corn and/or
1/2 cup zucchini and/or
1/2 cup squash and/or
1/2 cup peas and/or
1 cup spinach

2 1/2 cups packaged noodles (5 ounces) (I like more veggies but you can add more the chicken or noodles if you prefer a more equal ratio of chicken and noodles to veggies)
1 9-ounce package frozen diced cooked chicken (about 2 cups)

1. In a pot combine chicken broth, green onions, all veggies (except spinach), fines herbes, pepper, garlice, and bay leaves. Bring to boiling; add noodles. Cook and stir until the mixture returns to boiling; reduce heat.
2. Cover and boil gently for 7 to 9 minutes or until noodles are tender (don't overcook). Add chicken and spinach to soup; heat through. You can freeze leftover soup. It's sooooo yummy!

I read this really great book by Michael Pollan called Food Rules. It's only $5 at amazon and it has simple, perfect advice for eating healthily without feeling overwhelmed. You can read it in 30 minutes max and it is extremely helpful. Here are some rules I liked from the book.

Populations that eat a so-called Western diet generally defined as a diet consisting of lots of processed foods and meat, lots of added fat and sugar, lot of refined grains, lots of everything except vegetables, fruits, and whole grains--invariably suffer from high rates of the so-called Western diseases: obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
1. Eat food, not too much. Mostly plants.

2. Avoid food products that contain more than five ingredients...(The more ingredients in a packaged food, the more highly processed it probably is.)

3. Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.

4. Avoid food products that make health claims. (For a product to carry a health claim on its package, it must first have a package, so right of the bat its more likely to be a processed rather than a whole food...Generally, it is the products of modern food science that make the boldest health claims, and they are often founded on incomplete and often bad science. The healthiest food in the supermarket--the fresh produce--doesn't boast about its healthfulness--...because [it] doesn't have the packaging.)

5. Eat only foods that will eventually rot. (...the more processed a food is, the longer the shelf life, and the less nutritious it typically is. Real food is alive-and therefore it should eventually die.)

6. Stop eating before you're full.

7. Plant a vegetable garden if you have the space, a window box, if you don't.

8. Cook. (...Cooking for yourself is the only sure way to take back control of your diet from the food scientists and food processors, and to guarantee you're eating real food and not edible food-like substances, with their unhealthy oils, high fructose corn syrup, and surfeit of salt. Not surprisingly, the decline in home cooking closely parallels the rise in obesity, and research suggests that people who cook are more likely to eat a more healthful diet.)

9. Eating what stands on one leg [mushrooms and plant foods] is better that eating what stands on two legs [fowl], which is better than eating what stands on four legs [cows, pigs, and other mammals).

10. Break the rules once in a while. (Obsessing over food rules is bad for your happiness, and probably for your health too.)
Speaking of healthy eating, my husband and I joined a Community Supported Agriculture program. We pay $5 a week for 3 lbs. of locally grown fruit that we pick up from a farm that's down the street from where we live. You can't get any fresher than that. If you're interested you can find a CSA program near you at


Ricki said...

I like those rules. It can get totally overwhelming wondering what's bad, good, better, best. I recently made a tasty stuffed squash:

Marble Madness said...

Luv! It so funny you asked for recipes... I found this site like 2 days ago and was thinking I needed to send it to you. She even does GF! :)


Emily said...

Yeah! I love new recipes. Thanks girls!

白色 said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi Emily,

So glad to hear you are doing well! Here are some links for recipes that look yummy.

Maya said...

Hi there,

My name is Maya and I just started following your blog. I recently started my own chronic illness blog of my own: I hope you'll consider adding me too - I think we all have so much to learn from each other and your blog looks really amazing. Thanks!

Toni said...

Hi Emily,

I just found your blog through another blog (isn't that how it almost always happens?!) and I've really enjoyed reading your posts, especially your review of 2009 and what helped you to be doing so much better.

Congratulations on becoming foster parents. It's such a wonderful thing to do (although I know as an adoptive parent that you'll wind up feeling that the children give you so much more than you think you're giving them).

I've been sick since 2001 when I failed to recover from a viral infection. It's been a long road, but I'm trying to come to terms with this unexpected turn in my life. I look forward to more of your posts.


志竹 said...
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Anonymous said...


I just wanted to say congrats on being foster parents. It takes special people to do that, and those kids need special people so much.