Archive for March, 2010


Monday, March 15th, 2010

A Quick Supper I Planned

While making a salad for my husbands lunch, I thought of saving time by quickly cooking a dish for supper. Most of the ingredients to make a tomato chutney  were right there in front of me.  It included onions &  tomatoes.  It did not make much sense to put all these things away, I reasoned,  and later bring them all out to cook this dish. I just needed more tomatoes, green chilies, oil and garlic.

So I quickly braised the curry and went about clearing the table .  I decided to turn the temperature on high and then switch it off before I left the kitchen for other tasks.   I continued with other tasks which took me to another part of the house,  and of course completely forgot about my curry on the stove.

About half hour later after I got a strong smell, I dashed to the kitchen and found the contents all burned and a terrible smell in the kitchen.  So much for my saving time!

Well,  the good thing is that,  thanks,  that I have a good sense of smell.  It was a good thing that there was nothing nearby, like  dishcloth that could have caught on fire.  The loss was  a small pot of curry and my time. It could  have been worse.

Lesson Learned.

Pay attention to an activity.  Remember to be mindful.  It is good advise to do put everything one has into one task and complete before moving the next one.

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

A Vegetarian Diet

According the United States Department of Agriculture a vegetarian Diet can meet the requirements for nutrients. The key is to consume a variety of foods and the right amount of foods to meet your calorie needs.

Follow the food group recommendations for your age, sex, and activity level to get the right amount of food and the variety of foods needed for nutrient adequacy. Nutrients that vegetarians may need to focus on include

  • protein,
  • iron
  • calcium,
  • zinc
  • vitamin B12

Nutrients that Vegetarians should focus on


have  many important functions in the body and are  essential for growth and maintenance. Protein needs can easily be met by eating a variety of plant-based foods. Combining different protein sources in the same meal is not necessary. Sources of protein for vegetarians include beans, nuts, nut butters, peas, and soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers). Milk products and eggs are also good protein sources for lacto-ovo vegetarians


functions primarily as a carrier of oxygen in the blood. Iron sources for vegetarians include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, spinach, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, turnip greens, molasses, whole wheat breads, peas, and some dried fruits (dried apricots, prunes, raisins).


is used for building bones and teeth and in maintaining bone strength. Sources of calcium for vegetarians include fortified breakfast cereals, soy products (tofu, soy-based beverages), calcium-fortified orange juice, and some dark green leafy vegetables (collard greens, turnip greens, bok choy, mustard greens). Milk products are excellent calcium sources for lacto vegetarians.


is necessary for many biochemical reactions and also helps the immune system function properly. Sources of zinc for vegetarians include many types of beans (white beans, kidney beans, and chickpeas), zinc-fortified breakfast cereals, wheat germ, and pumpkin seeds. Milk products are a zinc source for lacto vegetarians.

Vitamin B12

is found in animal products and some fortified foods. Sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians include milk products, eggs, and foods that have been fortified with vitamin B12. These include breakfast cereals, soy-based beverages, veggie burgers, and nutritional yeast.

Tips for Vegetarians

  • Build meals around protein sources that are naturally low in fat, such as beans, lentils, and rice. Don’t overload meals with high-fat cheeses to replace the meat.
  • Calcium-fortified soy-based beverages can provide calcium in amounts similar to milk. They are usually low in fat and do not contain cholesterol.
  • Many foods that typically contain meat or poultry can be made vegetarian. This can increase vegetable intake and cut saturated fat and cholesterol intake. Consider:
  • pasta primavera or pasta with marinara or pesto sauce
  • veggie pizza
  • vegetable lasagna
  • tofu-vegetable stir fry
  • vegetable lo mein
  • vegetable kabobs
  • bean burritos or tacos
  • A variety of vegetarian products look (and may taste) like their non-vegetarian counterparts, but are usually lower in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol.
    • For breakfast, try soy-based sausage patties or links.
    • Rather than hamburgers, try veggie burgers. A variety of kinds are available, made with soy beans, vegetables, and/or rice.
    • Add vegetarian meat substitutes to soups and stews to boost protein without adding saturated fat or cholesterol. These include tempeh (cultured soybeans with a chewy texture), tofu, or wheat gluten (seitan).
    • For barbecues, try veggie or garden burgers, soy hot dogs, marinated tofu or tempeh, and veggie kabobs.
    • Make bean burgers, lentil burgers, or pita halves with falafel (spicy ground chick pea patties).
    • Some restaurants offer soy options (texturized vegetable protein) as a substitute for meat, and soy cheese as a substitute for regular cheese.
  • Most restaurants can accommodate vegetarian modifications to menu items by substituting meatless sauces, omitting meat from stir-fries, and adding vegetables or pasta in place of meat. These substitutions are more likely to be available at restaurants that make food to order.
  • Many Asian and Indian restaurants offer a varied selection of vegetarian dishes.

Are Bath Toys Safe

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

All kids enjoy bath time in the tub and  playing with their favorite plastic toys.  Well this could be a source of bacteria which can lead to serious health problems. This is particularly a problem when the toys have holes in them.

The water collects in the toy and although it is squeezed out at the end of the bath, not all the water escapes.  This  moist environment promotes the growth of bacteria.  When children suck onto the toys they are taking in the filth from the innards of the toys. Tests done on toys that were thought to be safe showed E.coli and other bacteria.It is recommended that if toys are used, do not get those with holes. Do   watch the clip below. This was featured in the Today show on 03/03 /2010.

My Gardening Venture

Monday, March 1st, 2010

My Latest Attempt at Gardening

Over the years I have tried my hand at planting seeds and cultivating a garden with very moderate success.  I always marvel at those who create beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. I imagine how rewarding it must make them feel to see the magnificent blooms and beautiful fresh vegetables.  I hope to get that feeling this time.

My late mother was,  and my sister is an excellent gardener. Their plants thrive and bloom. My mother used to supply the local grocery store with produce from her garden.  I have had more success with flowers than vegetables.

I remember the time I had a very nice bloom of Zinnias. But the tomatoes I produce look sick and undernourished. I realize that gardening takes a lot of effort and as with anything, one has to put in that effort to achieve good results.

Well today, I cleared a small patch, removed the weeds, flattened the soil, and planted a few vegetable seeds and plants.  I will monitor the progress that I make with this new venture.