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News and a Cool Article

I haven’t been updating this blog, but I’ve been doing fine this summer. Unfortunately, the temp job has ended for good, but I’m going to get a Master of Public Health from Ohio State, starting this fall, and I’m excited about that.

I also have a link to an article at the Food Revolution Network:

 

In the years since I’ve become an environmentalist, I’ve hated lawns.  This article confirms that the problems with growing lawns far outweigh the benefits.

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10 Healthy, Natural Phytonutrients that are good for you (and may help you avoid caner)

The Food Revolution Network lists the ten phytochemicals you can get from foods that are good for you.  Apparently, there’s research that it helps prevent cancer, which you can read here.  But if you don’t want to read it and are just curious about some healthy food chemicals, here’s the list below:

  1. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG): a green tea extract
  2. Curcumin: the primary polyphenol in turmeric root
  3. Resveratrol: a phytochemical found in grapes, Japanese knotweed, and peanuts
  4. Lycopene: a red carotenoid found in watermelon, red grapefruit, and tomatoes
  5. Pomegranate extracts
  6. Luteolin: a flavinoid found in peppers and green vegetables
  7. Genistein: a phytochemical found in red clover, soy, and coffee
  8. Piperine: a phytochemical found in black pepper
  9. Beta-carotene: an orange carotenoid found in vegetables including carrots
  10. Sulforaphane: a sulfurous phytochemical found in broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and similar vegetables.

In this case, being healthy will involve eating a lot of salad.  Not really different from what it was before, really.

Microwave Spaghetti Squash

I had quite a hard time with this spaghetti squash recipe.  The original recipe said to cook the squash in the microwave without cutting it in half, but because the squash was so big, it seemed to take forever to get it to soften.  Finally, my mother and I came up with a solution: soften the squash until it’s soft enough to cut in half, then microwave each half for three minutes on each side.

1 spaghetti squash

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/3 c sliced green onions

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese

Pierce squash all over with a sharp knife.  Place on 2 paper towels in microwave.  Microwave on high about 15 minutes, rotating the squash 3 times during cooking, until you can leave an impression on the squash surface by pressing it with your finger.  Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and place each piece of squash on a microwave-safe dish.  Microwave each piece for three minutes on each side.

Place oil, garlic, and oregano in 2-quart microwave-safe casserole.  Microwave on high 1.5 to 2 minutes until oil is hot.  Add mushrooms and green onions; cover loosely with waxed paper.  Microwave on high 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once, until mushrooms are just tender.  Stir in salt and pepper.

Using a fork, remove the flesh from the squash shell (it should come out in spaghetti-like strands) and add to mushroom mixture.  Toss until coated with oil.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Farfalle with Roasted Garlic and Eggplant

This is a recipe my mother cut from the Columbus Dispatch in 2007.  We’d been growing eggplant in our garden that year, so we tried out a bunch of recipes.  This was our favorite.

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 small or 1 large eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices

Salt and pepper

1 head roasted garlic

1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 lb farfalle (bow-tie pasta) or rigatoni

3 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Brush 2 Tbsp of the oil onto both sides of the eggplant slices; season with salt and pepper.  Place on 2 baking sheets, making sure the slices don’t touch.  Roast until browned, 20 to 25 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, dice.

Squeeze the roasted garlic into a large serving bowl with the remaining Tbsp of oil, mashing to blend.  Stir in the tomatoes, basil, eggplant, 1/2 tsp of salt, and pepper to taste.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender but still firm to bite.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

Add cooking water to sauce as needed to loosen sauce.  Serve over pasta.