In the news


(Steamed vegetables.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

Have you seen the latest in weight loss news?  Here, go have a look:  Study finds calories count more.

Well, duh!

Imagine getting funding ($$) to come to a conclusion that most of us came to a long time ago via the method of common sense.  Calories in, calories out.  If you take in more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight.  Logic, reason, and yes, common sense, should tell you that if you burn more than you take in, you’ll lose weight.


I wonder how much money the folks from Harvard and Pennington got to conduct the study.

All snarkiness aside, I realize this puts to rest the “my diet is better than your diet” arguments.  Bring on your Atkins, your Weight Watchers, your South Beach, and your Cabbage Soup diets.  It doesn’t matter as long as more calories are going out than going in.  But don’t starve yourself because that will slow down your metabolism.

I was going through some old (paper) files the other day and came across the U.S. Women’s Ski Team Diet from back in the 70’s.  The claim is that you will lose 20 lbs. in 2 weeks.  I don’t recall losing 20 lbs. in 2 weeks, but do remember giving it a try.  I found it online for those who don’t remember it or wish to see it.  It’s here, but you’ll have to scroll down a little to  read it.

I spent a lot of time dieting my way to weight gain when I was a perfectly respectable and healthy weight.  The U.S. Women’s Ski Team Diet was probably part of that effort.  Thankfully I’m a little more sensible these days.  But I still get drawn in, at least for a look, when someone announces the newest, bestest, guaranteed to work, lose weight quickly, diet.  Although I know there is no magic diet or magic bullet, part of me still holds out hope that the next big diet will be The One.

In the meantime, I’ll keep eating healthy foods, exercising, and making sure that the calories consumed are less than the calories burned.  It’s not magic, it’s not faddish, it’s not terribly exciting, but it works.

Boulangerie Beans and Potatoes

(Photo © 2009 by Robin.)

For Christmas I received a copy of Mark Bittman’s  How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food.  It was high up on my wish list and I was thrilled to find it under the tree.  (Thank you, C & B!)

Yesterday a friend, who also has a copy of the book, excitedly suggested I turn to page 620 and make the Boulangerie Beans and Potatoes.  Because I happened to have everything I needed to make it (including fresh thyme), I decided to cook up some beans and see what all the excitement was about.

The recipe is very simple and very basic:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups cooked white beans, drained but still moist
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium russet or other high-starch (baking) potatoes or all-purpose potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Stir a tablespoon of the thyme into the beans, taste, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread the beans in a baking dish and set aside.

Halve the potatoes lengthwise and thinly slice into half circles.  Lay the potatoes in overlapping rows to cover the beans.  Pour the stock over the top, dot with pieces of butter, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the remaining thyme.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is browned and glazed, another 45 minutes or so.  Serve immediately or let rest for up to an hour and serve at room temperature.

I used great northern beans (because I had them in the pantry).  In the book Bittman points out that you can use canned beans, but he doesn’t recommend it.  I started with dried beans, and used the quick soak and cook method.  The beans were ready in about three hours.  You can also use red or pink beans.

Obviously you will need to do a little planning ahead for this dish.  It’s well worth the time and effort.  The beans make it a hearty dish that works well as a main course.  Just serve with a salad and you have a full meal.

This is the first recipe I’ve used from the book.  I’m looking forward to many more happy meals from this “ultimate one-stop vegetarian cookbook.”

Watching Oprah

I don’t, usually.

But I managed to get sucked in by all the advertisements for her Best Life Week.  I’m looking for inspiration, I suppose.  I don’t expect to find any new diet and exercise hints.  Research is something I’m good at and I keep an eye on the latest diet and exercise news.  Not an obsessive eye, mind you.  Just enough to know when something new comes out in terms of the science of it all.

No, it’s not for hints.  It’s for some inspiration.

I’ll let you know how that works out.

It’s been sunny here today with a high in the low 30’s.  Almost a heat wave.  I even considered opening a window to let in some fresh air.  Then my sanity, such as it is, returned.

The broccoli is in

(Getting ready to grill. © Robin, 2008.)

The broccoli is in! Yay!

I picked up my order from the farm down the street today. 17 lbs. of beautiful, green, healthy-for-ya broccoli.

Needless to say (but I will anyway), I’ve spent the day cutting, blanching, and freezing broccoli. I’ve been eating some of it too. It’s delicious. I’m always amazed at how sweet freshly picked broccoli tastes.

The photo above, by the way, has nothing to do with broccoli or anything else in this post. I took it a week or two ago when we were grilling veggies to go with our dinner. It’s my back-up photo. I’d have taken a photo or ten of the broccoli, especially after it’s blanched and takes on that gorgeous green color, but my camera is once again traveling without me. I’ll have it back again in a week. In the meantime, I’ll have to rely on my archives if I need a photo.

Got a call from the doc today about some blood work I had done. It seems I have iron deficiency anemia. Not sure why. I guess I’ll find out eventually. In the meantime, it’s high doses of iron supplements for me. I better make sure I get plenty of fiber with those supplements. They can be hell on the digestive system.


(© Robin)

The magnificent veggie burger!!

Or, if you’d prefer…

Last night’s dinner!!

We had roasted new potatoes and fried (in a little olive oil) cabbage with the veggie burgers.

More rain moved through last night. It was quite a soaking but without all the huffing and puffing of the previous day’s storms.

M the Younger spent the day in Denver, filling out paperwork for his new job. The company that hired him flew him there and back home again the same day. He looked pretty exhausted when he got home around 1:00am (having left here at 4:30am). He’ll be leaving here July 30th, and starting his new job on August 4th.

I’m going to miss him, but it’ll be nice to have a reason to travel to Colorado on a frequent basis. I’ve never been to Colorado (other than stopping in Denver to change planes), and look forward to exploring and hiking the state.

I know I’m way behind on updating my Move 2008 stats. Will get to that soon. I have been exercising. I just haven’t added everything up lately.

Off for a day of shopping

(The aftermath.)

M the Younger will be heading out to Colorado for the day on Wednesday to meet with the folks he’ll be working for and with. He’s in need of a summer suit he can wear so I’m taking out to shop for one. He has a black suit, but it’s supposed to be in the 90’s in the Denver area this week. He’d probably die of heat stroke in that suit.

Anyhow, I don’t have time to post much more. Just wanted to get my food post up in case I don’t get back to blogging later today.

Pictured are the remains of our dinner from the other night. Sweet corn, and brains with hot sauce (cauliflower stands in for the brains). We also had a big tossed salad of mixed greens from the garden with that.

If someone could come by and clean off the table while I’m gone, I’d appreciate it. 😉

Farmers Market

(At the Hartville Market)

One of the things I love best about this time of year is the abundance of fresh produce. And the best place to buy some of that abundance is at a farmers market.

Yesterday M and I went to the Hartville Market to look at and purchase some of the fresh fruits and veggies now making an appearance in our area. We came home with a trunk load of stuff, including sweet corn, cucumbers, squash, onions, blueberries, peaches, cherries, and a watermelon. I’m sure there was more, but I can’t remember it all.

It’s easy to eat healthy this time of the year. 😀