We’re having guests for dinner tonight. A group of friends are coming, and I’m looking forward to the evening. The only problem is that I really don’t know what to make.
- I’m on the keto diet. That means no carbs—no fruit except berries, no carb-heavy veggies, no grains, and of course no sugars in any form. Instead, I am eating low-carb vegetables, some protein, and a lot of fat.*
- On the other hand, Pete is on a “heart healthy” diet prescribed by his cardiologist, which eliminates saturated fats and emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and high fiber carbs.
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Girl eggplants? Boy eggplants? Peppers with three lobes—or four? Does one taste better than the other? Is one for cooking and the other for eating raw? And what does all this have to do with plant sex?
As I’ve been perusing Pinterest and adding things to my “Bad Advice” board, I discovered a bunch of discussion about “male” vs. “female” eggplants and peppers. We’re talking about the fruit—the eggplants or peppers that we eat—not the individual plants on which the veggies grew. I hate to burst their bubble, but eggplants and peppers don’t have gender. (Actually, the plants are’t male or female, either.)
I just read a recipe (for keto “bread”) that calls for one teaspoon of Celtic sea salt. I admit, although I thoroughly enjoy cooking, and read a lot of articles and recipes, I had not heard of Celtic sea salt. Is it different from normal sea salt? Does being Celtic make it somehow superior? And how does sea salt compare to “normal” table salt?
Last week I promised you some recipes for marinated, grilled chicken. This is probably one of the most frequent items on our dinner menu. Chicken is so versatile! I think that if I had to, I could come up with 365 ways to cook it!
I’m not offering 365 chicken recipes (hmmm, maybe I should write a cookbook?), but here are three of our favorites. If I ever feed you dinner, there’s a good chance you’ll be eating one of these!
For the past week, daytime highs had hovered around 100. While that may be a normal summer temperature for some parts of the country, here in Colorado, at an elevation of 7,100 feet, it’s anything but. (I’m glad we don’t live lower and hotter!) Even with our cool nights and ample insulation, the house was getting pretty warm by late afternoon. At that point, the absolute last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner.
I managed to avoid turning on the stove or oven for several days in a row. However, by the end of the week, salads were getting a bit redundant. What else could I do? Sure, there are other uncooked dishes, such as sandwiches and cold cereal, but I wanted ideas for more traditional dinner fare.
The phone caller went right to the point: “Hi, can you help me? We’ve got five college students arriving to help in our ministry for a week. They’ll be here in two days, and the family that was going to host them had an emergency and had to leave town. Do you have room? And we were going to have a dinner and games night for them—can you host that too?”
Actually, having the guys stay here would be no trouble at all. We have a guest room plenty of floor space. College students can sleep on the floor, right? The dinner and games night would be a bit more work, but I figured that feeding five extra mouths was doable.
Five students, two of us. No problem.
It’s late afternoon and you still have no idea what you’re making for dinner. Everything that comes to mind requires either time you don’t have or ingredients that would require a trip to the market. Sure, you have food in the fridge, and more food in the freezer, but frozen broccoli, mustard and a jar of green olives doesn’t sound like a meal. Our daughter once described the situation like this: “Mom, there’s no food in the fridge, only ingredients!”
This same daughter is also the one who suggested I explain how I do my meal planning. If this scenario sounds too familiar, maybe today’s post will help.
If there was ever a Holzmann family signature dessert, this would be it: buttery whole wheat biscuit, mounds of sweetened whipped cream, and far more luscious, red strawberries than strictly necessary. It’s filling enough to make an entire meal, and at times (usually on Father’s Day) we’ve considered it one.
The story behind this amazing feast is from the 1970s. Teenaged Pete decided to ride his bike the 30+ miles to his aunt and uncle’s home in upstate New York. When he finally arrived, hot and hungry, a plate-sized strawberry shortcake was waiting to reward his efforts. I could tell from the way his eyes lit up every time this landmark event was mentioned, that creating a repeat performance would be enthusiastically welcomed. So I did. And it was.
Should we spend more to buy organic? It’s a tough decision. We want to be good stewards of our the environment, our bodies, and our finances. For some of us, the added cost is prohibitive. We simply can’t afford it. But others have some discretionary income. Is this a good place to spend it?
Back in January, I pointed out that we tend to consider buying organic for a number of reasons:
- We expect these products to have been grown in an earth-friendly manner.
- We assume they are free of dangerous chemicals.
- We expect the food to be healthier and more nutritious.
- We might assume it tastes better.
- We hope that meat and dairy animals were treated humanely.