Grab & Go for Holiday Gusto

Shopping, working, planning, inclement weather, guests and holiday hysteria can stress a person to the brink of exhaustion. Also, highly processed foods with bad fat (ex. hydrogenated oils), sugar, and salt can add to the stress. Fresh, preferably organic whole foods that are lightly processed by you or the manufacturer are easier to digest and will reflect my motto, The Good Taste of Health.

Think green! Ecological “green” items for gifts and food greens for meals. Your body will love it and so will the planet. This is a good time to think about the idea of Earth Day Every Day. Below are some food ideas to keep you healthy while getting ready for the last few days of the year.

1. Make simple sandwiches from whole grain breads (Ex. last night’s salad stuffed into pita bread) or gluten-free bread filled with almond, cashew, or sunflower butter. Add sprouts & your sandwich is good to go. (A slice of onion is also good on a sugar-free nut butter sandwich.)

2. Prepare make-ahead soups for quick meals when you have to run out after dinner. (Below are a couple that I have reprinted from earlier postings.) Add some salad fixings from a salad bar and crusty bread & dinner is ready!

3. Steam up some kale, chard or cabbage to add to soups, salads or as is with a little olive oil on top. Couple it with a baked sweet potato and you won’t be tempted to grab a candy bar while shopping. (Even so-called health bars are high in calories & fat.)

4. Make sure you eat enough protein in the form of beans, cultured cheese (if allowed on your diet), and chicken or fish. (As a non-meat person, I add tofu or tempeh to some of my dishes for protein.)

5. Make a blender breakfast booster using your favorite liquid (milk, almond or coconut milk, etc.) with a non-GMO protein powder and soft fruits, such as berries or bananas with cinnamon or nutmeg. (Maybe an eggnog smoothie!)

6. Have some raw veggies and dips available for snacking: hummus with celery & carrots, salsa with peppers and scallions, baba ganoosh with pita & veggies or black bean dip with veggies and baked chips. There’s a lot to choose from now that supermarkets are caring more natural food items.

If you are not home for lunch or dinner while shopping, think about going to a salad bar for a hearty salad (minus gobs of dressing, just a little). Skip the burger joints with greasy French fries and maybe get some stir fries from an Asian bistro at a mall. Try to avoid sugar snack which will give you a burst of energy then, but a crash later.

Maybe you are exhausted when you head home. Think about a whole wrap (We like Chipotle’s food and ethics) or perhaps a soup you made earlier and took from the freezer for dinner. Think a little bit ahead and you’ll stay ahead of the stress.

This photo from the Internet is a bag from Whole Foods. I don’t mean to imply you have to shop there, but it was the only picture that had the message I wanted on a shopping bag. I shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, Acme and local grocers, so I like to shop where I find the best food and the best deals.

Healthy eating!

Miso-Vegetable Soup

IMG_0060-miso-veg soup.jpg


One-quart water or stock
Any of the following (organic) vegetables: (Not all; pick your favorites)
One carrot, scrubbed, trimmed, and cut into matchsticks
1/2 yellow beet, scrubbed and diced (adds color to soup)
One small potato, scrubbed and diced
2 celery stalks, washed and trimmed, then diced
1/2 daikon radish, scrubbed and cut into matchsticks

One-two garlic cloves, peeled
Parsley and dill (optional)
3 cups cooked kale or collards, cut into narrow strips
Salt, Pepper and/or cayenne pepper to taste
Miso Paste (Soybean paste available in health food stores)


1. Place the prepared vegetables of choice into water in a soup pot. Add garlic and parsley and dill, if using. Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer until veggies are tender.
2. While veggies are simmering, cook kale or collards in a separate pot until soft. Drain and add to soup. (Give cooking water to your plants when the water is cool.)
3. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to soup pot and allow to blend. Remove about one cup of water into a coffee cup and add one-two tablespoons of miso paste. Mix until dissolved and then add back to soup pot. (You may not need any salt or pepper because the miso is naturally salty and the cayenne replaces black pepper.)
4. Wait a few minutes and taste. If you want the soup spicier, add another pinch of cayenne and wait again to taste.

Variation: Add shelled and cooked edamame beans (green soybeans).
Add rice stick noodles, cooked according to package directions. Add arame seaweed, soaked until soft and then drained.


Sam’s Simple Sweet Potato Soup

Here are 4 kinds of organic sweet potatoes. Some are sweeter than others, and two of them are more white than orange.
Try mixing and matching.
From left to right:White Hamon, Garnet, Jewel, Japanese

This is an easy recipe given to me by my daughter-in-law, Samantha:

Take 2 or 3 sweet potatoes, scrub them and bake them or cook them in water.
While they are cooking, steam or cook about one cup spinach or kale until tender. Drain.
Peel sweet potatoes and blend with about one cup water from potatoes if you cooked them in water or just water.
add enough water to the consistency you like: thick or thin.
Add drained greens and blend again.
Sprinkle in nutmeg or cinnamon, stir, and enjoy!

If you like a creamy soup, feel free to add some half-and-half in place of the liquid.



10 thoughts on “Grab & Go for Holiday Gusto

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