Note: A few days ago, on my way home from Harrisburg by train, I picked up a copy of USA Today. On the front page was an article entitled â€œBill puts healthier lunch on menu.â€ The article explained legislation is afoot to set new nutrition standards for school lunches, with the idea that â€œjunk foodâ€ will be eliminated from school lunches. If it passes, thatâ€™s good news, but even if it doesnâ€™t, you can help your child eat better with Randi Lee Levinâ€™s new cookbook, Love More, Feed Less.
In this book The Muffin Lady, as Randi is called, takes us on â€œA Tasty Path Toward Avoiding Childhood Obesity,â€ which is actually the subtitle book. Here is a list of some of her chapters:
Modeling for a Better Life, Losing by Moving, Risk Factors of Overeating, and Stocking Up for Health.
All of the chapters take a common sense approach to feeding our children healthier meals in appropriate proportions. Most of her chapters begin with the health message reflected in the title, followed by recipes to get you and your family started on a path toward a healthier life. (Note: This is not a vegetarian cookbook, although the majority of recipes are meatless.) There is a saying that fits well here â€œthat if you are part of the problem, you can be part of the solutionâ€. Overall, I find this cookbook a welcome asset in the problem of childhood obesity.
There is also a chapter on the benefit of using spices to enhance homemade foods, called The Spice Rack, and a substitution and equivalent list that you can use in other recipes, as well. The inside first page sums this book up nicely. It is a quote from Ben Franklinâ€™s Poor Richardâ€™s Almanac (1733): â€œTo lengthen thy life, Lessen thy meals.â€ Amen, Ben!
Here is one of Randiâ€™s Love More, Feed Less Recipes:
Pom Cheri Smoothie
Tip: Pomegranates, an ancient symbol of love, are one of Mother Natureâ€™s Finest Creations. While the fruit and juice may appear pricey, please know that the rewards to your health will be bountiful.
1 Â½ cups 100% pomegranate juice
2 cups pitted dark sweet cherries*
2 cups plain yogurt
Â¼ teaspoon pure almond or vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey or sugar (stevia+ is listed in her substitute list)
2-3 cups ice or Fruit Cubes (an ice cube made from fruit juice found elsewhere in her book)
1.Â Â Â Â Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a blender until smooth.
2.Â Â Â Divide the mixture between 2 tall glasses and serve with a straw.
*Since fresh cherries are out of season you could try re-hydrating dried cherries or purchase frozen cherries without added sugar or water.
+ Stevia is a natural sweetener made from stevia leaves, which are 30 times sweeter than sugar.