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Lentil Salad

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)
1 lb Green or Black Lentils
1 Onion, peeled and cut in half
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and left whole
2 small Cucumbers, chopped small
2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
2 Green Onions, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
6 sprigs Fresh Thymes, leaves only
1/8-1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Carefully look through the lentils removing any rocks.  Rinse the lentils with plenty of water.  Once rinsed, put the lentils in a large pot and cover with 8-10 cups of fresh water; add the halved onion and garlic cloves.  Bring the pot to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Cook for 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender, but not mushy.

Once the lentils have cooked, drain and remove the onion and garlic.  Allow the lentils to cool completely.

While the lentils are cooling, chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, thyme and parsley; add to a medium-sized bowl.  In a Pyrex measuring cup mix together the vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.   Add the cooled lentils to the chopped vegetables and add the feta cheese.  Toss to combine.

Lentil salad makes a great lunch served over a bed of lettuce with some chopped carrots or even works well as a side dish.

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Categories : Dinner, Lunch, Real Food!
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So How’s the Food?

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)

Well, one month down and no one’s complaining for lack of their favorites.  In fact, the girls and dear hubby are more spoiled than ever as I cook more and more.  I personally am loving the challenge of not relying on any convenience foods and my efforts of creating things like Ranch dressing, mac-n-cheese, and chocolate sauce are turning out well!

My greatest disappointment this month was ice cream.  My youngest daughter turned 7 so of course we needed ice cream.  After looking at nearly every brand including the organic ones in my local Ralph’s grocery store I was completely disappointed by the ingredients I found.  Even Breyer’s “All Natural Ice Cream” had a new suspicious ingredient…  Tara Gum.  What happened to the milk, cream, sugar, and natural flavors?  Just as I suspected, Breyer’s has added this new ingredient to help maintain the creaminess and texture of their ice cream.  Frankly, I don’t want the ground up endosperm of seeds of a South American tree in my ice cream.  The only ice cream I found still maintaining pure ingredients was Haagen-Dazs.  Of course it was twice the price of everything else.  Yes, I could have made ice cream, but in true mommy form I was shopping at the last possible moment!

Fun restaurants I have found/researched this month meeting the requirements of only eating real sustainable, humanely treated food…  Chipotle, Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill, and Granville.  Each are doing their part to revolutionize the food industry.  By showing that making food from scratch with organic produce and meat only from humanely treated animals is possible.  A big Thank You to them.  I hope you have one of these in your neighborhood.  Send me a comment on your favorite sustainable restaurant!  Let’s get a list going, after all, us mommy’s shouldn’t have to cook every night!

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And The Winner Is…

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (1)

Andrea from Michigan City, Indiana!  Thanks Andrea for participating in my Give Away!  Andrea left a comment on the book review I wrote about In Defense of Food!  Her name was drawn as the winner of a copy of Michael Pollan’s book.  Hope you enjoy it!

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On Friday I decided to do some snooping around Whole Foods and boy was a pleasantly surprised!  After reading Michael Pollan’s book and watching Food, Inc.  I am even more determined to make sure the meat I feed my family is a) humanely treated to begin with, b) fed properly (i.e. grass…), c) is free-range, and d) is free of antibiotics!  So I took the girls and off we went to Whole Foods.

In my casual conversation with the butcher this is what I learned… Read More→

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The Journey Begins…

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)

Well today I took some time and cleared out all remaining processed foods and foods with unpronounceable ingredients.  I actually threw away a lot less “food” than I expected… maybe I haven’t been doing so badly after all.  I purged things like crackers and parboiled rice (I have no idea why I had this as I’ve been using a rice cooker for years), seasonings (did you know high-fructose corn syrup sneaks in there?), one can of soda (leftover from a party), lots of candy sprinkles, taco sauce (from a couple of fast food chains), BBQ sauce, flavored syrup for coffee and a handful of other things.  Not too bad and it felt good to have all that stuff sent to the trash and recycle bin.

IMG_5221So… Rule #1 – Avoid food products containing ingredients that are a) unfamiliar, b) unpronounceable, c) more than five in number, or that include d) high-fructose corn syrup.  Check!

Note: In today’s economic times, if your pantry has more processed food in it than real food, you might not want to throw everything out at once.  Just make the transition slowly and wisely.  Your pocketbook will love you all the more!

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And the Winner Is….

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)

Jackie N. is the winner of the first iFit Gourmet Challenge!!  Jackie walked  her way through the holidays!  She will receive two CDs from our Featured Artist Kerri Crocker’s.  “Shine” and “Reason To Be” are both great uplifting CDs that I know Jackie will love!!


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Food The Way It Should Be

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (1)

In my book review of In Defense of Food, An Eater’s Manifesto, I referred to Pollan’s 23 rules to follow to undo the damage caused by the Western diet.  I called these rules  “simple” rules to follow, but I wonder if they truly are simple.  I have known for years to shop only from the perimeter of grocery stores (thereby leaving out all the highly processed foods), but I wonder how possible it is to actually only eat food lacking processing or at the least lacking any number of additives, preservatives, or other things I can’t pronounce.  I think it is possible, but I wonder how much time and energy it will take.  Will it dramatically increase the cost of my grocery bill?  Will I notice a difference in my health and the health of my family?  I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I have some idea and I like it.  Therefore this book has single-handedly motivated me to try something I’ve wanted to do for many years and completely lost sight of…living a whole foods diet.  For the next 11 months (starting February 1st) my family and I are going to live by the 23 rules.  All along the way I’ll keep you posted on how we are doing, what we are spending, how much extra time this is taking and anything else I think you might find useful or interesting.

This is a journey that truly excites me.  I believe it can be done, but it has to be done in such a way that we won’t be eating cardboard in the name of healthy-eating.  After all I am a personal chef by trade and I’m not going to give up the idea of eating a “healthy-gourmet diet!”  I am hoping that I will give up some of digestive discomfort I’ve been experiencing lately and along the way I would also like to give up the extra five pounds that have been hanging around since I hit 35!

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imageOnce in a while you have the opportunity to read a book that dramatically changes your perspective by highlighting inconsistencies within your belief system.  I have always believed food is about starting with something basic and unprocessed and turning it into something you enjoy eating.  Maybe you enjoy it because of its flavor, texture or appearance.  Maybe you enjoy it because you have made it for someone special.  Or maybe you enjoy it because you know it’s healthier than anything you could have purchased at the store or a restaurant so it makes you feel good.  But somehow along the way I started to allow people (nutritionists, scientists, and government) to tell me what to eat.  That isn’t completely bad, other than sometimes what seems “healthy” isn’t healthy at all.  It’s purely processed food that is a long way from the original “something basic.” Read More→

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In the Kitchen

Posted by: Kristina Evans | Comments (0)

I can’t believe Christmas is just days away!  I imagine many people, will be traveling for the holidays, but just in case you’re sticking close to home here are a couple of recipes I thought you might enjoy.

Vegetable Lentil Soup
Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms and Gorgonzola

Have a very Merry Christmas!  Drink a glass of egg nog for me!


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4 servings

4 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
2tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1/4tsp Garlic Powder
1/4tsp Oregano, dried
Salt & Pepper to taste
6oz Mushrooms, sliced
1 Roma Tomato, chopped
1-2oz Gorgonzola, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Rinse chicken and place in shallow baking dish.  Drizzle with 1T olive oil on both sides; season with garlic powder, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until an internal thermometer reads 160-degrees in the thickest part of the breast.

While the chicken is baking, heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat with 1T olive oil.  Add the mushrooms to the pan, in a single layer and don’t move them so they will brown.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  When the mushrooms have browned, add the tomato and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the chicken from the oven and place on a warm platter.  Top the chicken with the mushrooms and tomato mixture then crumble on the Gorgonzola.

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