About Me

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My friends call me the "grammar goddess." Really. ;-) I own a freelance writing, editing and tutoring business. Previously, I served three years as food editor for The Morning Sun in Mt. Pleasant, which kindled my interest in food writing. My other areas of expertise in writing include features, community news, architecture/construction and engraving/personalization. I have a frightening number of cookbooks and watch too many DIY, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Antiques Roadshow (BBC and PBS versions) shows. And I tweak nearly every recipe I make.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Magazine Review: Clean Eating

Clean Eating is a fantastic magazine; it's full of tips about how to eat healthier foods. In fact, it's the first place where first I read about the list of fruits and veggies you should eat as organic produce. Of course, it was the top 10 instead of the Dirty Dozen I addressed in a prior post, but it's the same concept.

The general concept involves eating more whole (unprocessed) foods, such as fruits and veggies and whole grains. "Acceptable" sweeteners include agave nectar, honey, stevia and evaporated cane juice rather than processed sugar. See sample Clean Eating menu (and actual recipes for a week) on the website.

For those who like shopping lists, everything you need to feed a single person from these menus  is available (I assume that the four serving menu items could, theoretically, be frozen if you don't use all the leftovers). You can also print a clean copy from the website rather than tear it out of the magazine or photocopy it.

The recipes included in the two-week plan have nutritional information and there is a daily nutritional calculation. If you wish to deviate from the daily choices, you'll have to look up on the labels of what you're eating for the individual meals.

Tosca Reno (who is credited for the popularity of the eating clean movement) has written a couple of books that explain the concept in greater detail. One of them is The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook: Great-Tasting Recipes That Keep You Lean.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Healthier Macaroni Salad

Healthy macaroni salad sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? Let's go with the word healthier, shall we?

1/2 package of whole wheat macaroni (your favorite kind), cooked, drained and cooled
1 Roma tomato
1/2 large red pepper
1/3 English cucumber (peel if desired)
1/2 small, sweet white onion
Miracle Whip Light
freshly ground pepper (1/2 tsp. or to taste)
celery seed (1/2 tsp or to taste)
2/3 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (optional)
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped (optional)

Boil water; throw in macaroni and cook according to package directions; rinse in cold water until no longer hot while in strainer.

While waiting for the pasta to cook and cool: Wash vegetables thoroughly; peel cucumber if you prefer. Chop all vegetables somewhat finely (not teensy-tiny, but you don't want big chunks), taking out the seeds of the pepper and tomato. (The English cucumber shouldn't have any to speak of, and they're edible, anyway.) Mix all vegetables (including optional ingredients, if desired) as well as the pepper and celery seed in a large mixing bowl with enough Miracle Whip to lightly cover the pasta and

This will serve approximately 8 people as a side dish, four if using a main dish with chickpeas and/or eggs.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Healthy Eating on a Road Trip?

My attempts at healthy eating are not always perfect. Despite some good planning, my friends and I still ate a lot of junk when we were in Louisville this weekend.

Besides being in the car for about eight hours on Friday and Sunday, we were at the Kentucky Exposition Center (which is also the site of the state fairgrounds) for about 10 hours all told on Saturday; that day, healthy eating fell by the wayside, primarily because we didn't feel like hiking the length of the fairgrounds to go to the cooler in our car. I can find healthier food at the Tigers' Comerica Park! Someone could make a killing selling salad along with the pizza sold at the exposition center (that was a hint, by the way).

I did have trail mix in my purse, but it wasn't enough to stave off hunger for hours on end combined with sleeping under four hours that night, even with a decent 1/2 sandwich and salad dinner on Saturday night. We also hung out afterwards, having pizza at 1 a.m. Sunday as well as lunch at Buckhead Mountain Grill in Jeffersonville (just across the river from downtown Louisville) at 2:30 p.m. that day (where we also ate dinner Saturday night). There are some healthy things on the menu, and my entrees were not only excellent, but fairly good for me. Unfortunately, their rolls and cinnamon butter are also wonderful. Stopping at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday at a McDonald's in Ohio didn't help, either.

On the up side, I did stay away from the ice cream and the cotton candy that were everywhere the eye could see at the convention center. The healthiest things there were smoothies and pizza.

If I had to do it over again, I would have tried to get more sleep so I wasn't starving and walked to get the salad, fruit and hard-boiled eggs out of the cooler Friday night and Saturday afternoon. I'd also have skipped the pizza. I'll need to eat very healthy food the rest of the week and do a little exercise to make up for it!