All Posts for September 2011

Green Salad & Vegetable Medley Dinner

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Last night was the first night of Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year, and usually involves a seasonal, festive meal to share good wishes.  In one of my cookbooks on my kitchen shelf, The Gourmet Jewish Cook by Judy Zeidler (William Morrow & Co., 1988), there is an entire chapter devoted to the Jewish New Year. My information is from this chapter.

Because food is such as important part of our holidays, I thought you might like to know that during this one, there is the custom of eating sweet foods, such as apples dipped in honey, a metaphor for having a “sweet year” ahead. Thus, sour or bitter foods are avoided.

Also, this holiday celebrates fall foods such as carrots, beets, leeks, and squash. And on the second night of Rosh Hoshana, the author notes that the new fruits of the season, grapes and pomegranates, are eaten.  The seeds of the pomegranate are of particular significance because they represent all the “good deeds” that will be done in the year ahead.

Actually, I received a Jewish New Year card last year with this lovely message:

“May the New Year be as full of blessings as a pomegranate is full of seeds.”

This information is a perfect segue to my dinner from last night, which included pomegranates (one day ahead of schedule) and carrots, which I put in my vegetable medley.

Green Salad with Pomegranate Seeds & Clementines


(Note: This is actually a variation of a recipe I posted in late spring with raspberries & clementines. As the seasons changed, I substituted pomegranate seeds for the raspberries, even though I can still find raspberries in the market.)

Utensils: Cutting board & knife, serving bowl
Prep. Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: None!
Cagtegory: GF, Vegan

Ingredients

1 cup spinach
2 cups baby arugula
seeds from ¼ of a pomegranate
2 clementines
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, macadamia nut oil, or walnut oil
juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup slivered almonds or walnut pieces

Directions

1. Wash spinach and arugula well. Spin dry. Tear spinach into smaller pieces, if needed. (You may also substitute greens of your choice.)
2. Cut pomegranate in half and then one section into quarters and remove seeds carefully. (Some stores also sell just the seeds.)
3. Peel the clementines and cut into bite-sized pieces.
4. Place all the ingredients in an attractive serving bowl. Add oil and lemon and toss.
5. Top the salad with nuts & serve chilled.


Vegetable Medley

Utensils: Large, shallow sauce pan; cutting board & knife; oven proof casserole dish & small baking pan
Preparation Time: About 15 minutes
Cooking Time: About 30 minutes
Category: GF & Vegan

Ingredients

Note: You may substitute veggies of your choice, organic if possible

one cup vegetable broth or water
I cup washed & sliced Brussels sprouts (Cut off stem & slice from top to bottom)
1 cup scrubbed & sliced carrots, cut into  1/2 inch “pennies”
2 cups green beans, washed, trimmed & cut into halves or thirds, if extra long
1 cup washed &  zucchini cut into bite-sized chunks
five spice powder (See note & ingredients below.)*
1/2 package tempeh (optional)- cut into triangles & each triangle cut horizontally through the center to make two thinner slices
olive oil ( 1- 2 tablespoons)

Directions

1. Place sliced Brussels sprouts & sliced carrots in the one cup of broth or water in shallow saucepan. Cook 5-10 minutes on medium heat, until carrots can be pierced with a fork.
2. Add green beans & zucchini & cook another 5 minutes. Add five spice powder to taste. The water should be almost gone.
3. If you are using tempeh, you can either bake it on a lightly oiled cookie sheet or fry with a little oil in a fry pan.
4. For a crisper dish, place the veggies in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes, using a lightly oiled, oven-proof casserole/serving dish. You can also put the tempeh, if using, in a separate oiled pan, instead of on the stove and bake the two at the same time.
5. Remove the casserole & the tempeh. Place tempeh on top of the veggies, toss with one-two tablespoons olive oil & serve hot.

*Note: There is no salt or tamari or garlic or onions, because this dish is for a sweet new year, so five spice powder works better. The five spices are: cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise, white pepper. If you are making your own blend, you can leave out the pepper for a sweeter blend & maybe use nutmeg. I have a five spice powder blend from Frontier Herbs that I used.

Here is a photo of the veggies before I put them in the oven & added the tempeh. The bottom layer has the carrots & Brussels sprouts because they take longer to simmer. Then I put the strings beans & zucchini on the top layer.

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

My Note: In January of this year I reviewed Gayle Sulik’s excellent book, Pink Ribbon Blues, which focused on all the hype about breast cancer and the whole issue of racing for the cure and how this has become entangled with financial gain for companies sporting the pink ribbon logo along with their pink merchandise. I call it the commercialization of breast cancer, but Gail’s book goes into such detail that  I know receive her newsletter by email. The excerpt below is from her latest email to me. See the websites at the end for the entire article.

This excerpt is reprinted with Gayle’s permission.

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Will the White House be lighted in teal just as it’s been lighted in pink to commemorate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Will grocery stores line shelves with teal ribbon products? Will schools give out teal t-shirts or pins? Probably not. Pink has been the color of choice when it comes to cause support. Even as the sister of breast cancer (i.e., in 5 to 10 percent of cases both breast and ovarian cancer have a connection to mutations on the known breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2), ovarian cancer garners relatively little public support or attention.

Some people don’t even know that disease-specific ribbons besides pink exist. Nan Hart wrote on the discussion board of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (Sept. 19th) that after her daughter got a teal ribbon tattoo on her wrist, one of her daughter’s coworkers asked why her breast cancer ribbon wasn’t pink? Umm…Because it’s not a breast cancer ribbon? The assumption that one ribbon, the pink ribbon, the mother of all ribbons is the baseline of social support for cancer is indeed a huge assumption. In the coworker’s defense it just shows how well pink marketing has worked to create the association. Awareness messages aside, millions of people buy, display, consume, and think pink.

An article in Marie Claire on the “Big Business of Breast Cancer” points out that, ”Some $6 billion a year is committed to breast cancer research and awareness campaigns,” making it a “gold mine for pink profiteers and old-fashioned hucksters.” Kudos to Lea Goldman for pointing this out. Yet, for those who are working to provide information, support, and resources for other types of cancer, this story isn’t “news” at all. One woman commented on the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance discussion board that she went into a Bed Bath and Beyond this month and the first thing she saw was a breast cancer “awareness” display of pink products. “Where the education or awareness was,” she said, “I don’t know, but they’re certainly making a lot of money.” Another commenter contacted various media outlets to encourage reporting about ovarian cancer during its September awareness month. Apparently they “seemed uninterested.” Pink publicity, on the other hand, is now a year-round activity, and the related products? Many of them are around all year too….

When in comes to research, Dr. Elise Kohn states that, “There is no question that ovarian cancer is under funded and under represented in the scientific and medical communities.” The National Cancer Institute’s investment in ovarian cancer research increased to $110.1 million in FY 2009, up from $97.7 million in fiscal year FY 2005. The institute also supported $16.2 million in ovarian cancer research in FY 2009 using funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. [In comparison, the National Institute of Health spends more than $700 million per year on breast cancer research, and the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program has allocated about $2.5 billion to peer-reviewed research since 1992.] Despite this situation Dr. Kohn states further that, “there has been an exponential and explosive growth in knowledge and treatment benefits for ovarian cancer over the last decade.” Yet, the difference in research agendas and allocations and within and across different types of cancer may also reflect differences in levels of advocacy, publicity, and political will….

More on Gayle’s website: www.pinkribbonblues.com or http://gaylesulik.com/

P.S. I Googled teal ribbon and came up with a website on this topic: www.trocrf.org



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