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Vegetables and fruits, never a fad

Discover the beneficial properties of fruits and vegetables and how to select a rainbow of colors to ensure you gain the entire range of benefits they offer.

Excerpt from “Vegetables and Fruits: Never a Fad”

When choosing vegetables and fruits, select a rainbow of colors to ensure you gain the entire range of benefits they offer. The various pigments in plants confer particular health benefits.

  • Red and purple plants — grapes, blueberries, strawberries, beets, eggplant, red cabbage, red peppers, plums, and red apples — contain antioxidants that prevent the formation of blood clots.
  • Yellow and green plants — spinach, collards, corn, green peas, avocado, and honeydew — include the pigments lutein and zeaxanthin, which help heal cataracts and macular degeneration and also reduce the risk of developing these eye problems.
  • Orange plants — carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and mangoes — have alpha carotene, a cancer fighter, and beta carotene, which helps repair damaged DNA. Oranges, peaches, papaya, and nectarines support the transmission of nerve impulses between cells and strengthen the cardiovascular system.
  • Green vegetables — broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and bok choy — have anticancer properties.

Vegetables also help raise mineral levels in the body — provided there are enough fat-soluble vitamins A and D in the diet to assimilate the minerals. Because individuals who have excessive levels of some minerals are usually deficient in others, they need to eat more of the vegetables that will normalize their deficient mineral levels and less of those that contain large amounts of the minerals in which they are oversupplied. Because it is in the pigment of plants that many of the minerals and other nutrients in plants are stored, the choice of vegetables depends to some extent upon color. For example, anyone with a potassium deficiency needs green, leafy plants because the dark green pigment in these leafy plants contains high levels of potassium; on the other hand, eating white, orange, yellow, and light green plants increases calcium levels in the body. When we lack a particular nutrient, we also lack one of the pigments that store this nutrient.

Copyright © 2006 Felicia Drury Kliment

About the Author
Felicia Drury Kliment is a nutritional consultant in private practice and the author of the acclaimed book The Acid-Alkaline Balance Diet.

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Wedding cake trends 2007

This is what brides where asking for in 2007

Maryann Cavaglia, from Trendy Wedding Magazine, has compiled a quick list of what brides are asking in their cakes right now and she hopes you’ll be able to see a trend or idea you can use to make your wedding cake special.

A list of the current trends in wedding cakes, including flavors, decorations, toppers and everything else on the cake

  • Brides are having fun with the shape of their cake. Instead of round tiers, try squares, octagons, triangles or even hexagons. Off-kilter cakes (topsy-turvy) are fun -they will amaze your guests. Decorate each tier of the cake with a different design; even use different colors.
  • Why not have a theme wedding cake that goes along with that of your of your wedding. This will help tie your whole wedding topic together.
  • Color of the cake icing matches the wedding dress trim colors or bridesmaid dresses. Sage Green, Blush Pink, Burnt Orange, Ivory.
  • An idea is to use a color of cake that will look well in the room it is being displayed in.
    This will make for beautiful photographs.
  • Try butter cream or fondant icing.
  • Cakes embellished with fresh flowers, less expensive than having your baker make icing or marzipan flowers.
  • Cakes with flavors or fillings: lemon, lime, raspberry or spiced cakes.
  • There is a groom’s cake; usually chocolate inside with chocolate icing.
  • If you are going to use a groom’s cake, why not a theme groom’s cake? Fly fishing, baseball cap, car, golf.
  • Create cupcake towers. Use silk or sugar butterflies on top of the cupcakes.
  • Instead of one huge cake, have a smaller decorated cake at each table as a beautiful centerpiece. You wouldn’t have to purchase as many floral decorations.
  • Place ethnic patterns on cakes.
  • Forego the cake altogether and, instead of a cake, you have a desert buffet.
  • Go retro on cake toppers.
  • Dazzling jewel studded monograms as cake toppers.
  • Use fresh flowers as cake toppers.
  • Couture Cakes – some brides copy the beadwork or lacework on their dresses onto their cakes.
  • A beautiful idea is to have different layers that look like colorful wrapped presents and tied with a bow on top of the cake.
  • It is always popular to have flowers on your cake and to also use them as cake toppers, either sugar, real or silk. Lilies are popular now. Roses are always popular.
  • Use a beautiful bow as a cake topper.
  • On a flower decorated cake try putting rose petals scattered around the cake on the table… it’s beautiful.
  • Try orchids on your cake and as cake toppers.
  • Flowers cascading down the layers of your cake make a charming motive.  
  • For a Victorian Wedding try a beautiful tea cup and saucer as a cake topper and fill the cup with flowers.
  • Try flowers and dots on your cake, white or colorful.
  • Light up your cake by putting tea candles around it, or use long tapered candles.
  • Are you health crazy? Try then a cake with berries on the tiers and as cake toppers. 
  • For a wine themed wedding, try fresh grape bunches as cake toppers and also draped down the sides of the cake.
  • Spring brides have flowers and butterflies as cake toppers.
  • Nostalgic touch with a cake with real sugared fruit on the layers and as cake toppers.

Maryann Caravaglia is the Editor of Trendy Weddings Magazine, a free online magazine featuring articles on the latest trends in Weddings.

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Recipes from The Sugar Solution

Healthy recipes from Prevention’s The Sugar Solution

Weight Gain? Memory Lapse? Mood Swings? Fatigue? Your Symptoms Are Real. And Your Solution is Here by the Editors of Prevention magazine with Ann Fittante, MS, RD.

Greek-style lentil soup

1 pound brown lentils, picked over and rinsed  
9 cups water  
6 cloves garlic, minced  
3 large carrots, cut into 1/4″ pieces 
2 large onions, chopped 
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed 
1 teaspoon ground black pepper  
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
11/2 cups tomato puree
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh marjoram or oregano (optional)

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the lentils, water, garlic, carrots, onions, thyme, pepper, and rosemary. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Stir in the tomato puree, salt, and cinnamon and simmer for 20 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat and stir in the oil, vinegar, and marjoram or oregano (if using).

Makes 6 servings (about 10 cups)

Per serving: 351 calories, 23 g protein, 55 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 434 mg sodium, 26 g dietary fiber
Diet Exchanges: l1/2, vegetable, 2 bread
Carb Choices: 4

Indian-spiced potatoes and spinach

2 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2″ chunks 
2 tablespoons canola oil  
3 large cloves garlic, minced 
1 medium onion, chopped 
1¾ teaspoons ground cumin  
¾ teaspoon ground coriander 
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups frozen cut leaf spinach (from a bag)
2-4 tablespoons water
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free plain yogurt 

Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan with 1/2 inch of water. Place the potatoes in the steamer and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a bowl. Cover to keep warm. Dry the saucepan.

Heat the oil in the saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the potatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Add the spinach and 2 tablespoons of the water. Cover and cook, tossing gently (add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed), for 5 minutes, or until heated through.

Place in a serving bowl. Spoon the yogurt on top and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 195 calories, 8 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 350 mg sodium, 6 g dietary fiber
Diet Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 bread, 1 meat, 1 fat
Carb Choices: 11/2

Pork chops with apple cider, walnuts, and prunes

4 pork chops (6-8 ounces each), each ¾” thick
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground rubbed sage  
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
1 tablespoon walnut oil or olive oil
6 pitted prunes (2-3 ounces), chopped
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup dry white wine or apple cider
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts 

Season the pork with the salt, sage, and pepper.

Heat the oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until browned on the first side, for 4 to 5 minutes. If desired, hold the chops on the edges and cook the edges until browned, for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and cook until the second side is browned, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and pour off any fat in the skillet. Add the prunes, cider, and wine or cider. Cook, turning once or twice, until the juices run clear and a meat thermometer inserted into the pork registers 155°F, for 12 to 15 minutes.

Transfer to plates and spoon the prunes on top. There should be about 2 tablespoons of juices left in the pan. If more, cook over low to medium heat until reduced. Spoon over the pork and sprinkle with the walnuts.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 296 calories, 22 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 342 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber
Diet Exchanges: 3 meat
Carb Choices: 1


Reprinted from: Prevention’s The Sugar Solution: Weight Gain? Memory Lapse? Mood Swings? Fatigue? Your Symptoms Are Real — And Your Solution is Here by the Editors of Prevention magazine with Ann Fittante, MS, RD (September 2006;$24.95US/$33.95CAN; 1-57954-913-6) © 2006 Rodale, Inc. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling at (800) 848-4735.

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Superfoods for babies and children

Annabel Karmel brings you original ideas to help you cook quick, healthy and tasty meals for your children and the whole family.

Below you will find some recipes from the cookbook Super Foods for Babies and Children by bestselling author Annabel Karmel.

Recipes from Super Foods for Babies and Children

Baked sweet potato and carrot puree

From 6 months

Baking sweet potatoes in the oven enhances their naturally sweet taste, so this is a good puree to make if you are making a roast for the rest of the family, as you can just pop the sweet potato into the oven to cook alongside. It is also very tasty without the added carrot.

1 medium sweet potato
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons your baby’s usual milk

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Wash and dry the sweet potato and prick all over with a fork. Bake in the oven until tender (about 45 minutes). Meanwhile, steam or boil the carrots until tender (about 20 minutes). When the sweet potato is soft, allow to cool down a little, then cut it in half and scoop out the flesh. Puree together with the cooked carrot and the milk.

Alternatively, you can cook the sweet potato in a microwave. Pierce several holes in the potato with a fork. Place on at least two layers of microwave-safe paper towels. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. Let stand for 5 minutes. Peel and puree with the carrot and a little of your baby’s usual milk.

4 portions

Sweet potato comes in two varieties: orange-fleshed and creamy-fleshed. Both have red skins and both are good sources of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. However, I prefer to use the orange-fleshed variety, which is also an excellent source of beta-carotene. This helps to prevent certain types of cancer and mops up free radicals.  


Baby’s Bolognese

Often it is not the taste of red meat that babies dislike but the texture, so here I blend the Bolognese sauce so that the ground meat becomes very easy to chew, and then mix it with soft pasta.

¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely grated carrot
5 ounces lean ground beef
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
2 ounces spaghetti

Sauté the onion and celery in the vegetable oil for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the grated carrot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and stir until browned. Stir in the ketchup, tomatoes, and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and cook until the meat is cooked through (10 to 15 minutes). Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to package instructions until quite soft. Drain and chop into short lengths. Transfer the Bolognese sauce to a food processor and puree to a fairly smooth texture before combining with the pasta.

5 portions

Red meat provides most nutritional needs apart from fiber. It is an excellent source of iron. Iron deficiency is the commonest nutritional deficiency in early childhood and leads to a serious medical condition called anemia if left unchecked. A baby’s iron reserves inherited from his mother run out around the age of 6 months, so it is important to include in the diet foods rich in iron.


Bow-tie pasta with salmon and tomatoes

Combining pasta with less popular foods like fish is a good way to encourage children to eat them. This tasty recipe takes only a few minutes to prepare.

6 ounces bow-tie pasta
7 ounces salmon fillet, skinned
1 pat butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon snipped chives
3 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

Cook the pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water according to the instructions on the package. Put the salmon into a suitable microwave dish, dot with the butter, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap, pierce a few times, and cook for 2 to 2½ minutes, according to the thickness of the fish. Strain and reserve the juices from the fish.

Heat the sour cream, ketchup, and fish juices in a large pan, stirring until blended. Add the chives and tomatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper, and simmer for 1 minute. Carefully flake the salmon, checking that there are no bones, and add to the sauce. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce.

4 portions

Salmon is good for the heart. Eating oily fish like salmon can help protect against heart attacks and strokes by helping to keep blood flowing freely, thus reducing the risk of a blood clot forming within a blood vessel. The darker the fish, the higher the levels of fat, so make sure that you include some dark fish in your child’s diet at least once or twice a week.


Mini vegetable burgers

These tasty mini burgers in a crispy coating are bursting with fresh vegetables and flavored with Gruyère cheese.

2 medium potatoes (do not peel)
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup washed and finely chopped white part of a leek
1 cup chopped button mushrooms
1 cup frozen or canned corn
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Seasoned all-purpose flour (flour mixed with a little salt and pepper)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

15 mini buns
Lettuce
Ketchup

Cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling water for 25 to 30 minutes, then peel and grate. Meanwhile, melt the butter and sauté the onion for about 3 minutes. Add the broccoli, carrot, leek, and mushrooms, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the grated potato, corn, soy sauce, cheese, parsley, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Form the mixture into 15 mini burgers, coat with flour, dip in the beaten egg, and then dip in the bread crumbs. Dip in the egg once again and then coat with another layer of bread crumbs to make a crispy coating for the burgers. Sauté in a small amount of oil in a skillet until crisp and golden on both sides. Serve on their own or in mini buns with a little lettuce and ketchup.

15 mini burgers

Onions and leeks have a protective action on the circulatory system that helps to prevent blood clots. With children eating more and more junk food, fatty deposits in the arteries can now be found in even the youngest of children, and in later life these deposits may lead to heart disease, as will arterial blood clots. When fat deposits and blood clots break loose and clog the arteries, the result is a heart attack or stroke. 


Mixed berry and white chocolate cheesecake

Crumb Crust
8 ounces graham crackers (2½ cups crumbs)
1 stick butter, melted
Vegetable oil for greasing

Cheesecake
5 ounces white chocolate
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
1 cup heavy cream

Topping
14 ounces mixed summer berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and red currants
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
2 ounces white chocolate

To make the crust, put the graham crackers in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin; then mix with the melted butter. Press them into the bottom of a lightly oiled 8-inch loose-bottomed tart pan or springform pan (this can be done with a potato masher). Place in the refrigerator to chill.

Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove the bowl from the pan and beat in the cream cheese. Add the vanilla to the cream or, if using a vanilla bean, split it lengthwise with a sharp knife and scrape the seeds into the cream.

Whip the cream until it forms fairly stiff peaks and gently fold in the cream cheese and white chocolate mixture. Pour on top of the crust and put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to set.

Once the cake is set, carefully remove from the pan. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Heat the jam with 2 teaspoons of water and strain through a sieve. Allow to cool for about 1 minute and gently brush over the fruits. Melt the white chocolate and drizzle over the top of the fruits with a teaspoon.

8 portions

Summer berries are packed with vitamin C, which helps to strengthen the immune system and fight infection. Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron.

Copyright © 2001, 2006 Annabel Karmel


About the Author

Annabel Karmel is the mother of three children, a bestselling author of books on nutrition and cooking for babies and toddlers, and a familiar face on British television. Annabel travels frequently to the United States, where her books on feeding babies and young children are very popular. She has appeared on many TV programs, including the Today show and The Early Show. Please visit www.annabelkarmel.com, her website.

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Local or organic?

A couple of years ago, I visited an organic vegetable farm in southeast Minnesota, not far from the Mississippi River. Nestled in a valley that sloped down from rolling pasture and cropland sat Featherstone Fruits and Vegetables, a 40-acre farm.

Featherstone was part of a local food web in the upper Midwest, selling at a farmers’ market, through a CSA (community supported agriculture) and to co-op stores in the Twin Cities. But the partners, Jack Hedin and Rhys Williams, who began in 1995, were having a tough time economically and realized they would have to boost sales if they were to become viable. The farm earned about $22,000 a year — split between the two partners — so they had to take on debt to keep going; this, after a 60 to 70 hour work week.

Hedin told me he made some calls and eventually landed a deal with Whole Foods to supply the natural foods chain with organic heirloom tomatoes. When I visited, they were in year two of the contract, picking the tomatoes before their peak ripeness, then shipping them to Chicago for stores in the Midwest. The deal had become the biggest sales channel for their farm; while still “local,” they were not as local as when they sold in their backyard.

There was a lesson here, one that often gets lost in the debate about which is better, local or organic? Too often this is understood as a zero sum game — that the money you spend on organic food at the supermarket will mean less for local farmers. After all, the food you buy is being shipped from who knows where and then often ends up in a processed food product. I’ve heard the argument that if all the money spent on organic food (around $14 billion) were actually channeled to local food, then a lot more small farms would survive and local food networks could expand. Well, Featherstone was doing precisely the opposite: it had entered the organic wholesale marketplace and then sent its tomatoes hundreds of miles away to survive as a small and, yes, local farm.

As consumers, it’s hard to understand these realities since we’re so divorced from the way food is produced. Even for conscious consumers who think about values other than convenience and price — avoiding pesticides, the survival of small farms, artisan food, and, of course, the most basic values, freshness and taste — choices must be made. Should we avoid pesticides at all costs or help small local farmers who may use them? Should we reduce food shipment miles, or buy food produced in an ecologically sound manner regardless of where it’s grown? These questions arise because we want to do what’s right.

The problem, though, is that these questions set up false choices. What Hedin and others showed me was that when it comes to doing the right thing, what really mattered was thinking about the choice — to be aware, to stay informed, and to be conscious of our role as consumers. But what you actually chose — local or organic — didn’t really matter.

Hedin, for example, was competing against farmers he actually knew on the West Coast, who also supplied organic produce to Whole Foods. I met one, Tim Mueller of River Dog Farm, in the one-bar town of Guinda, California. His farm sold produce at the Berkeley Farmers Market about 90 minutes away, but he was also tied to wholesale markets. (I saw River Dog’s heirloom tomatoes in western Massachusetts.) For these organic farmers, selling wholesale was a foundation for economic sustainability.

Moreover, by expanding the organic market, we may be actually helping local farmers. The USDA surveyed farmers’ markets and found that about a third of farmers selling direct were organic — local and organic, that is. In comparison, just one percent of all American farms practice organic agriculture. So for smaller-scale farmers selling direct, organic food has become a key component of their identity. By bringing more people into the organic fold, through whatever gateway they happened to choose, the pool of consumers considering local food would likely increase too.

That’s at least what Jim Crawford, a farmer from south central Pennsylvania believed. His 25-acre operation, New Morning Farm, works two farmers’ markets in Washington, D.C., and Jim played a key role in the growth of local foods in the region, having started out as an organic farmer in the 1970s. He told me he worried when Whole Foods opened a supermarket near his farmers’ market location in Washington because he thought he would lose customers. But over time, he noticed, sales kept rising. He thought the supermarket, which stocked a lot of organic produce from California, was actually converting customers to organic food and they in turn were finding their way to his market.

But what about companies that have pursued the organic marketplace without any concern for local food? What about, say, Earthbound Farm, which has grown into the third largest organic brand and the largest organic produce company in the nation, with its bagged salad mixes in three-quarters of all supermarkets? The company fiercely competed with other organic growers who later went out of business; its salad was grown organically but with industrial-scale agriculture; and the trucks that shipped the salad around the country burned through a lot of fossil fuel.

But Earthbound was competing with the likes of Dole, Fresh Express and ReadyPac in the mainstream market to offer consumers an organic choice. It did little for local food (a saving grace, since it left the market to smaller players). But Earthbound farmed on 26,000 acres of certified organic land, which meant that 267,000 pounds of pesticides and 8.4 million pounds of chemical fertilizers were being removed from use annually, the company estimated. And as studies repeatedly show, organic farming also saves energy (since the production of fertilizer and pesticides consumes one-third of the energy used in farming overall). Earthbound’s accomplishments should not be ignored — even if they are anything but local.

Which brings me to a final point: How we shop. Venues like Whole Foods are not fully organic because people are often unwilling to spend more than a small portion of their grocery budget on organic foods. It’s too expensive. This is one reason why organic food accounts for just two percent of food sales — one percent if you include eating out. Similarly, local foods, though important, total 1-2 percent. So arguing over local or organic is a bit like two people in a room of 100 fighting over who has the more righteous alternative to what the other 98 people are doing. It doesn’t really matter, because the bigger issue is swaying the majority.

When I shop, visiting the Dupont Circle farmers market in Washington, D.C., on Sunday morning and then going to the supermarket, I make choices. I buy local, organic, and conventional foods too, because each meets a need. Is the local product “better” than the organic one? No. Both are good choices because they move the food market in a small way. In choosing them, I can insert my values into an equation that for too long has been determined only by volume, convenience and price. While I have nothing against low prices and convenient shopping, the blind pursuit of these two values can wreak a lot of damage — damage that we ultimately pay for in water pollution, toxic pesticide exposure, livestock health, the quality of food and the loss of small farms. The total bill may not show up at the cash register but it’s one we pay nonetheless.

So what’s my advice? Think about what you’re buying. If you want local food, buy local. If you want organic, buy organic. The point is to make a conscious choice, because as we insert our values into the market, businesses respond and things change. There’s power in what we do collectively, so is there any reason to limit it unnecessarily?

© Samuel Fromartz 2006, reprinted by permission


About the Author

Samuel Fromartz is a business journalist who has written for Fortune, Business Week, and Inc. Organic Inc. is his first book. He lives in Washington, D.C.

For more information, please visit www.fromartz.com.

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Fix it and Enjoy it

Fix it and Enjoy It is a book with recipes for the oven, crock-pot or slow cooker.

Tasty recipes from fix it and enjoy it

Tuscan-Style Pork Ribs with Balsamic Glaze

J.B. Miller, Indianapolis, IN

Makes 6-8 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes 
Standing (or Chilling) Time: 2-8 hours 
Baking Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

2 Tbsp. olive oil 
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves, or 1 tsp. dried rosemary
1½ Tbsp. kosher salt
1½ Tbsp fennel seeds, or 1½ tsp. ground fennel 
2 tsp. pepper 
2 tsp. fresh chopped sage, or 1 tsp. dried sage 
2 tsp. fresh chopped thyme, or ½ tsp. dried thyme 
2 tsp. paprika 
1 tsp. crushed red pepper, optional, depending on how much heat you like 
1 tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground allspice
6 lbs. pork ribs 
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, rosemary, salt, fennel seeds, pepper, sage, thyme, paprika, red pepper, coriander, and allspice. 
2. Rub spice paste all over ribs and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight. 
3. Preheat oven to 325° F.
4. Arrange ribs on a large, rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan, meaty side up. 
5. Roast ribs uncovered for 2 hours or until tender. 
6. Preheat broiler. Brush meaty side of ribs with balsamic vinegar and broil 6 inches from heat until browned, about 2 minutes. 
7. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut between ribs, or serve in slabs.

Tip: You can use this glaze on pork chops, lamb chops, and cuts of chicken.


Curried Chicken Pitas

Sharon Eshleman, Ephrata, PA

Makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

½ cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 Tbsp. honey 
1 Tbsp. pickle relish
¾-1 tsp. curry powder, according to your taste preference 
2 cups cubed cooked chicken 
1 cup halved grapes or chopped apples 
½ cup chopped pecans
4 pita breads, halved 
8 lettuce leaves

1. In a bowl, combine salad dressing, honey, pickle relish, and curry powder. 
2. Stir in chicken, grapes, and pecans. 
3. Line pita halves with lettuce. Spoon ½ cup chicken mixture into each pita.


Black Bean and Butternut Burritos

Janelle Myers-Benner, Harrisonburg, VA

Makes 8 burritos

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Baking Time: 15-20 minutes

1 Tbsp. oil 
1 small or medium-sized onion, chopped 
3-4 cups butternut squash, cut into ½” cubes
½ tsp. cumin 
¼ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt 
2 cups cooked, or a 15-oz. can, black beans, drained 
8 tortillas 
1½ cups grated cheese
sour cream 
cilantro, if you wish
salsa
 

1. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat oil. Sauté onions until tender. 
2. Add butternut. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender. 
3. Add cumin, cinnamon, and salt. Add beans. Cover, and heat through. 
4. Put ⅛ of mixture in each tortilla, top with 3 Tbsp. cheese, and roll up. Place seam-side down in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. 
5. Bake uncovered in 350º oven for about 15-20 minutes, until heated through. 
6. Serve with sour cream and salsa, and cilantro if you wish.

Tips: Tortillas freeze well with the mixture inside so I often make a double or triple batch. You can also freeze just the filling.


Grilled Peach Melba

Stacy Schmucker Stoltzfus, Enola, PA

Makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Grilling Time: 5-10 minutes

4 large, unpeeled peaches or nectarines 
2 tsp. sugar 
2 cups red raspberries, fresh or frozen
sugar, optional
vanilla ice cream

1. Halve and pit peaches or nectarines. 
2. Press fresh or thawed raspberries through sieve. Save juice and discard seeds. Sweeten to taste with sugar, if needed. 
3. Grill unpeeled peaches cut-side down for approximately 2 minutes. Turn peaches over. With cut-side up, fill each cavity with ½ tsp. sugar, and continue grilling until grill marks appear on skins. 
4. Serve immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle with the raspberry sauce.


Yam fries

Kathy Keener Shantz, Lancaster, PA

Makes 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 20 minutes

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. curry
½ tsp. hot sauce
4 medium-sized yams, sliced like French fries

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, salt, pepper, curry, and hot sauce.
2. Stir in sliced yams.
3. When thoroughly coated, spread on lightly greased baking sheet.
4. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes, or until tender.


Linguine Salad with Peanut Sauce

Gretchen H. Maust, Keezletown, VA

Makes 6 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

8-oz. box dry linguine
½-1 cup chopped scallions
1 diced cucumber
¼ cup peanut butter

cup cider or rice vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup warm water

cup sesame oil
2 cloves minced garlic
½ tsp. 5-spice powder
hot sauce to taste
dark green lettuce leaves
toasted sesame seeds and tomato wedges for garnish

1. Cook linguine as directed on box, but undercook slightly. Drain. Rinse with cool water.
2. In a large bowl, combine linguini, scallions, and cucumber.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, water, oil, garlic, 5-spice powder, and hot sauce.
4. Arrange lettuce on platter. Spoon linguine mixture into the middle. Drizzle dressing over top. Garnish with sesame seeds and tomato wedges.

Variations:
1. For a heartier dish, add cubed cooked chicken or turkey.
2. Serve hot, replacing the cucumbers with cooked zucchini.

Tip: I like to triple the peanut sauce and keep it in the refrigerator to use as a salad dressing or dipping sauce for grilled chicken.

Reprinted from Fix-it and Enjoy-it! Cookbook. Copyright by Good Books. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Review

The author: Phyllis Pellman Good is a best selling author who knows the trick to compile a popular recipe collection; it is obvious this is not her first cookbook. In addition to writer, Mrs. Good is also Senior Editor at Good Books.

The book: presents over 675 recipes, selected from the more than 3,000 passed on by innumerable home cooks, who share their great recipes and cooking knowledge. The core of the book are hearty recipes from Pennsylvania, though you will also find stuffed quesadillas or lasagna, pesto, couscous, and fish dishes like the salmon croquettes.

Value added: in the practical cooking tips and variations suggested for many of the recipes.

We liked: the relaxed approach to cooking and the way the author leads novice cooks from following recipes to the letter to cooking with confidence and to experience with ingredients and measures.

Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Cookbook: 565 Delicious Slow-Cooker, Stove-Top, Oven, And Salad Recipes, Plus 50 Suggested Menus (Fix-It and Enjoy-It!)