Monday, May 17, 2010

I had a couple requests to share recipes that are healthy, yet, somewhat easy to whip up after work. This soup is so flavorful and easy! Kale, by the way, is probably one of the world's healthiest foods. 1 cup of Kale has only 36 calories, but, has loads of fiber, vitamins C and Vitamin A. It also contains phytonutrients which may help prevent certain kinds of cancer like breast and ovarian. My daughter will even eat this soup, but, not because it is nutritious. She likes the fact that it has black-eyed peas in it which is also her FAVORITE band. Anyhow, here is the recipe:

Black-Eyed Pea, Kale, and Ham Soup

1T. olive oil

4 oz of smoked ham

1c. onion

1/2 c. celery

2 garlic cloves, minced

4c. chopped kale

14.5 oz diced tomatoes

2c. frozen black-eyed peas

3/4c. water

2- 14 oz can vegetable broth

2 T. tomato paste

1/4 t. ground pepper

1/8 t. cayenne pepper

Heat oil in dutch oven and saute onion, celery, garlic, and ham until vegetables are tender. Stir in kale and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1/2 hour or until peas are tender.

- Adapted from Cooking Light

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It was a beautiful day at The Hooley on Kamms Corner yesterday! This was the first of an annual festival celebrating the rejuvenation of the Kamms Corner neighborhood which is on the westside of Cleveland. The street scape and the the new(and old) businesses looked great. There was a huge turnout and the weather couldn't have been better(yes, Cleveland has its days). A new Kamms Lager was unveiled and the event reminded me of a mini St. Patrick's Day celebration. I am looking forward to the Kamms farmers market which will start on June 6th.

I was hard pressed to find any healthy activities going on, but, I did go over to the Jasmine Bakery. This place is a well-kept secret and I love it! If you ever wanted to follow the Mediterranean diet plan for good health, this would be the place to shop. They have jugs of beautiful green colored olive oil at great prices. They also have my favorite which is a triangular shaped spinach and feta pie that is usually still warm. There are also large bags of freshly baked pita bread. My friend spotted some red lentils for a dish she has been meaning to try. There are bags of seeds for snacking which were endless. In a refrigerator in the back are containers of hummus and tabbouleh which are some of the best I've tasted. They also have containers of baba ganouj! Don't be afraid of baba ganouj. It is a roasted eggplant which is pureed into a low calorie and tasty dip. It resembles hummus, but, has a subtle smoky flavor that is delicious. Get a bag of pita chips to go along with it.

The owner was a bit leery of us taking pictures in his shop. He asked me if I was a cop! After he warmed up to us, he was extremely generous and helpful. He brought out a giant bag of a spicy nut mixture which he sells in bulk. It will be a new favorite in my house. Here are a few pictures from the Jasmine Bakery....

Spicy nut mixes you can buy in bulk

Spinach and feta pies are the best!

Lentils anyone?

Jugs of imported olive oil

My Friend Tina in front of Jasmine Bakery

Monday, May 10, 2010

Had a wonderful Mother's Day brunch made from our purchases at the Westside Market. Nothing like a good meal shared with my mom, kids, husband, sisters and their kids! I made an awesome egg vegetable casserole and asparagus lemon orzo salad which I found on I also made a scalloped potato recipe from cooking light which did not fit on the plate. The fruit came from Calabrese vendors and the raisin walnut bread is from Christophers. Then I walked my dog, Stella, in the sunshine. And don't worry Mom's, I took a break and ordered takeout for dinner. Hope you guys had a great day, too!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

O.K. Those of us who have grown up in Cleveland know that there is a little rivalry between the "westsiders" and the "eastsiders". Being a westsider myself, I am partial to neighborhoods such as Tremont, Ohio City, and the newly developed Gordon Square district. Yet, the eastside has so many great areas as well including Little Italy, Cedar-Lee, and University Circle. That is what is so great about Cleveland! So many good places to eat- who can decide? Well stop fretting because the best place to start is the Westside Market! I can't say enough about this place and as a Clevelander, I am so proud. This is where the eastsiders and the westsiders can come together and eat! Even the downtown location is smack between the east and west(O.K. maybe a little to the west). The architecture of the building itself is so lovely and spirited. The place dates back to 1840 and is Ohio's biggest indoor/outdoor market. It is not an open air market because most times of the year we prefer heat to open air in Northeast Ohio. But its whats inside that is so special. If you are a foodie, it is a feast for the senses.
When facing the front of the building on W. 25th, the produce vendors are all on the left. These guys all want your business and it can be a little overwhelming! Don't be afraid to make friends and get to know the best stands. Also, the vendors should allow you to pick out the produce on your own. Enjoy the fruit samples- don't be shy. On the right, is a plethora of vendors including meats, fish, poultry, bakery, spices, coffee, candy, crepes, etc.
I frequently get asked which are the best vendors by newbies to the market. Well, here are a few of my favorites and they all carry healthy, delicious foods! Here are some great pics...

Rita's.... Yum!

Boutros Brothers


Calabrese Produce

Chicken Sausage at Dionne's Poultry

Whole wheat Sourdough at my favorite bakery

Great sodium-free alternatives here

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hi! I am a dietitian who loves to eat! I love food! I especially love food in Cleveland. Yes, I know, we Clevelanders have landed on such lists as "the fattest city" and "the most miserable". But did you know that in 2009 we made the top 20 list of fittest cities? I don't recall hearing that one on the news. Right? And although I love perogies and brats as much as the next Clevelander, there are lots of beautiful food markets and delicious restaurants tucked away in our east and west neighborhoods that have great and yes, healthy foods! So, I hope to show you all where the healthiest, tastiest foods can be found and dined on in Cleveland. I would like to help answer questions I get about good products to buy or what I might order at different restaurants. On a broader scale, I would like to support the war on obesity that I am happy to see underway with the push of Michelle Obama. So, with the help of my computer savvy 10 year old, I would like to get started!