100 Foods: Mussels

While decluttering my bookcase I discovered a hidden gem: Parragon Books’ “100 Best Health Foods.”

This book takes an interesting, in-depth look at 100 amazing foods and discusses their healthy properties. That said, Parragon does not bother to go into any sort of detail as to which seasons the foods are from or where they are from, which is great… as the publisher is in the UK and I am not.

Also the recipes in this book are not necessarily for the busy on-the-go people or they don’t really make the healthy food the stand out in the completed dish.

Mussels

Alright… so I have ALWAYS been afraid to try these.

They are some of the ugliest bivalves I have ever seen. There is nothing that looks appealing about them and ew… really… you want me to try these?

So mussels are high in Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, Iron and Protein. I decided to give them a try and not be afraid of them any more. Where did I try them? At a lovely little family owned Italian restaurant in Northern Virginia. They were steamed cooked in a lovely sauce made with white wine, herbs, a ton of butter and a sprinkling of lemon. They were really good.

I am still unsure of cooking them at home…  just like I am with shellfish… but if they are available, I am more than willing to eat them again… even if they are really ugly looking.

~Emme

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What’s local to me in December?

What is local by you right now?

I had no idea, so I asked the internet what is local to my state and what should be freshest this month.

  • Apples
  • Broccoli Raab
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac/Celery Root
  • Chard
  • Chicories
  • Collard Greens
  • Escarole
  • Fennel
  • Greens
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Parsnips
  • Radicchio
  • Winter Squash
  • Turnips

We do have quite a bit that are year-round foods. My assumption is that this is due to storage of root vegetables/pods and greenhouses.

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Herbs
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Shallots
  • Sorrel
  • Spinach (We like to buy it frozen as we use it mostly in smoothies or soups)
  • Sweet Potatoes

Most of the exciting veggies are fading out… time to start freezing things!

What are your produce plans this month?

~Emme

100 Foods: Rosemary

While decluttering my bookcase I discovered a hidden gem: Parragon Books’ “100 Best Health Foods.”

This book takes an interesting, in-depth look at 100 amazing foods and discusses their healthy properties. That said, Parragon does not bother to go into any sort of detail as to which seasons the foods are from or where they are from, which is great… as the publisher is in the UK and I am not.

Also the recipes in this book are not necessarily for the busy on-the-go people or they don’t really make the healthy food the stand out in the completed dish.

Rosemary

Rosemary… I love the smell of rosemary mixed with fresh baked bread. I am very happy to eat it… on its own… the smell mixed with mint is heavenly… ah… rosemary…

Rosemary is my favorite herb. It is so much my favorite that I have not one, but two different types of rosemary growing in my garden. (I might have two different types of sage plants as well… but that is only because they are so beautiful… but that is completely besides the point.)

Rosemary is supposed to be very high in iron, calcium and Vitamin B6… but you would have to eat quite a bit of it to gain anything more than the amazing flavor.

I like to sprinkle it over most meats while cooking (especially on a grill) right before it is finished cooking so that it lets out the beautiful flavor, but it does not disappear into the other flavors presented in the dish.

~Emme

100 Foods: Cranberries

While decluttering my bookcase I discovered a hidden gem: Parragon Books’ “100 Best Health Foods.”

This book takes an interesting, in-depth look at 100 amazing foods and discusses their healthy properties. That said, Parragon does not bother to go into any sort of detail as to which seasons the foods are from or where they are from, which is great… as the publisher is in the UK and I am not.

Also the recipes in this book are not necessarily for the busy on-the-go people or they don’t really make the healthy food the stand out in the completed dish.

My plan… I’m going to tackle these 100 health foods relative to their seasonality in my area (some are never seasonable here… but I will follow their seasons in the location in which they are grown) and find simple easy recipes that showcase the foods. Which could be great for amazing foods like plums… but not so great for anchovies…

Cranberries

For some reason I associate these with winter… so now is an appropriate time to discuss them.

The majority of all cranberries are turned into juice, sauce and sweetened dried cranberries. Cranberry juice is usually the one juice that contains the most sugar of all of the juices… as cranberries are both very sour and bitter.

Cranberries are filled with Vitamin C and Manganese. Thy are very good for the immune system, act as anti-cancer agents and assist in healing/preventing urinary tract infections. The problem is most people are not eating cranberries raw or have added enough sugar to combat the taste that they no longer have their immune boosting punch.

Around here… we buy our cranberries in the winter and dehydrate them (unsweetened) for use throughout the year either plain or in baked goods. On holidays though… we still buy the canned cranberry gel because that is what we grew up with and it is still our favorite. I do buy cranberry juice, but I always buy the diet variety to cut out on some unnecessary sugar.

How do you like your cranberries?

~Emme

How Not To Use a Grocery List – Week 42

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Grocery shopping? I’m game! Here’s how I did this week:

What was on the list? (I took Mr. Wonderful with me to the grocery store again this week.)

  • Tuttoroso Tomatoes
  • Apples

What did I come home with? (Someone might have added some things into my cart…)

  • Tuttoroso Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Granola Bars
  • Utz Honey BBQ chips

What was thrown out this week:

  • Iceberg Lettuce – left over from a party

Anything from the garden?

  • Nothing… garden done for this year

How much did I save this week?

$15.53… which is 42.03%… It was a pretty good savings week. All we needed was to stock up on some canned tomatoes… and now we have 10 cans.

I did manage to snag a rain check for the crushed Tuttoroso tomatoes, the kind I ended up buying was the puree which is fine, just not what I intended on getting.

~Emme