Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Carrot flower Hummus tasting ✿ Owl Sandwich ✿ Kids nutrition education @InspiraHN #GardenCuizine

Last nights event at Family Success Center Vineland was a success for families. Students from Cumberland County College provided the program. I was consulted as the dietitian from Inspira Health Network to review the program and answer any questions by families. Both kids and parents were tuckered out with smiles after the fun, physical activity segment by PJ at The Fitness Connection. Great job CCC Visionaries!
Kids learned about the food groups and healthy eating, making and tasting healthy foods, including whole grain bread, low fat cheese, hummus and olives. Olives were used in light Babybel cheese ladybugs (not shown).
Blog post and photos Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Italian Easter Bread #GardenCuizine #HappyEaster

Italian Easter Bread
Our family tradition is to bake 2 large rings of Sicilian Easter Bread on Easter Sunday. Fruit is added to the dough. This year I added chopped dates, anise seeds and candied orange. Uncooked eggs are added to the dough braid and bake in the oven. Eggs baked in the oven usually come out perfectly hard cooked. This year was the first time I ever had an egg explode during baking! Luckily, it was only one egg and it exploded near the end of baking with only a part of the shell coming off.

In trying to figure out why the egg exploded, I've concluded that in past years I have often peeked into the oven (heat escapes) to look at the bread. This year I never opened the oven at all and heat never escaped. It seems that 350° F is too high a temperature to bake eggs. I now recommend baking the bread for the first 20 minutes at 350° F then reducing the temperature to 325° F for the remaining baking time to avoid risking an egg burst.
Happy Easter!
My revised recipe for whole grain Italian Easter Bread is posted here.
Photos and blog post Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sowing seeds in April yields summer garden harvests and beautiful gardens #GardenCuizine

Still Plant Seeds in April

Start planting seeds both indoors and out in March and April. Plants that can tolerate cooler growing temperatures can get planted outside, while frost sensitive plants are best getting their head start indoors. I've been planting seeds indoors under fluorescent lights since St. Patrick's Day and during National Nutrition Month.

Any seedlings started indoors under lights can then be planted outside Mother's Day or after, when the danger of frost has passed. Resist the temptation to plant plants directly outdoors now in this 80 degree early Spring weather. If you heard today's forecast - cooler air is on the way, which is more seasonal for early Spring.

Sowing seeds in April brings rewards later in the season. Rewards come in many forms, especially the personal gratification that comes from nurturing a plant from seed, and seeing the mature plants yield nutritious crops. Cooks know how wonderful it is to stoll outside for fresh veggies or a few snips of fresh herbs on demand. Growing and adding perennial and annual flowers make any yard and veggie garden look wonderful and inviting too. Inviting not just to you and your family and friends, but to wildlife, including butterflies and hummingbirds.

Below lists more plants that can be grown from seeds, followed by the number of days to germination, which will be updated as they germinate. You may notice that a few of the seeds are duplicates from previous posts. This could be because our cat(s) ate the first round of grass-like seedlings! Or, the seeds failed to germinate the first time around, which can happen if the seeds are old, or if they were exposed to too much light or air.

  • Yvonne's Red Salvia
  • Italian Parsley
  • Heirloom Tomato Berkeley tie-dye
  • Purple Majesty Millet
  • Basil 'Green Bouquet': 5 days
  • Hollyhock Peaches and Dreams
  • Zinnia Queen Red Lime: 2 days
  • Heirloom Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate (Polygonum orientale) a 6-9 foot annual
Blog post and photo Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Zucchini and Onion veggie side dish #GardenCuizine

Zucchini and Onion 
veggie side dish
Stir fried zucchini and onion direct from your garden or your local market makes a quick cooked vegetable that is easy to prepare and can be on the table in less than 20 minutes. This is one of our favorite veggie side dishes for dinner. We served it tonight with sea bass and freekeh.

Serves 3-4
Ingredients
2 medium zucchini
1/2 large onion
2 tablespoons canola, peanut or olive oil
a few drops hot sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together
Simply rinse and slice the zucchini in 1/4-inch rounds. Peel and slice the onion. Heat oil in a wok or skillet; add zucchini. Stir fry for a few minutes, then add the onion. Stir until the veggies begin to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Push the veggies to the outer edges of the pan or wok and add the garlic and ginger. Stir to cook and incorporate flavors.

For a complete meal, serve hot with 3 to 4 ounces low fat protein and a serving of whole grain, such as freekeh, rice or quinoa.

Buon appetito!
Related Links

Zucchini: A Growing Guide
Photos and recipe blog post Copyright
©2014 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Another flat of seeds planted to celebrate #NNM #GardenCuizine

Another Flat of Seeds Planted
to Celebrate 
National Nutrition Month!

Now is the time to get seeds planted for your garden. Cold weather crops can go straight in the ground outside; plants that need warmer soil can be started indoors now. 

March and National Nutrition Month are coming to a close, but you can still celebrate this time of year by planting seeds indoors under lights or on a sunny windowsill to be planted out on Mother's Day. Get growing!

These assorted veggies and flowers can be started indoors; and if you're interested, check back to see the number of days to germination, which will be posted.
  • Italian Dandelion, Chicoriumintybus Magdeburgh (Chicory)
  • Foxglove Milk Chocolate
  • Nicotiana Dusty Rose: 9 days
  • Chianti Dianthus: 6 days
  • Amsterdam Seasoning Celery: 12 days
  • Burgundy Amaranth: 6 days
  • Lettuce Leaf 'Napolitano' Italian Basil: 7 days
  • Red Leaf Hibiscus 'Red Shield': 8 days (initial leaves will be green; red leaves leaf out in 19 days)
  • Turkish Eggplant (can't wait to grow these!): 9 days
  • Heirloom Tomato 'Cherokee Purple': 7 days
  • Tall Yellow McKana Columbine
  • 'Heavenly Blue' (4-inch blooms) Heirloom Morning Glory: 6 days
  • Amaranthus cruentus 'Hot Biscuits': 6 days
  • Madagascar Jasmine
Amsterdam Seasoning Celery (Apium graveolens) is an interesting aromatic kitchen herb grown for its sprays of glossy, celery-flavored leaves that can be used in every day cooking.

Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right!
Related Links
Turkish Orange Eggplant recipe

Blog post Copyright ©2014 Wind. All rights reserved.
National Nutrition Month logo used with permission. 

Add Avocado to your Cornbread recipe for a boost of Nutrition #GardenCuizine #NNM

Avocado Cornbread
Simply add chopped fresh avocado to your favorite cornbread recipe for a healthy variation. We tried it last night and everyone loved it.
Our Country Cornbread recipe is posted here on GardenCuizine, only I did not add the chia seeds. Instead, add about a 1/2 cup of chopped, fresh avocado. Use however much avocado you would like, you don't need to measure it. 

Add the avocado after you combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. 
  • Be careful not to over mix
  • Pour into your prepared 8x8 baking dish and bake as directed
  • Cut while warm and serve with homemade hot pepper jelly
Note: cornbread freezes well
GardenCuizine Avocado Nutrition: calculated using USDA Nutrient reference data
Excellent Source: dietary Fiber
Good Source: Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate and Potassium
Rich source of heart healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats

1/2 cup (75g) cubed Avocado: 120 calories; dietary Fiber 5g (20% DV); Vitamin C 7.5mg (13% DV); Vitamin B6 0.2mg (10% DV); Folate 61mcg (15% DV); Potassium 364mg (11% DV) Avocados contain other nutrients including 25 milligrams beta-sitosterol (plant sterol) per 1-oz. serving. Plant sterols have been scientifically shown to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Related Links 
Top 5 Avocado Nutrition Facts
Photos and blog post Copyright ©2014 Wind. All rights reserved.
National Nutrition Month logo used with permission.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Still time left in March to celebrate #NNM by sowing seeds #GardenCuizine

Still time to Celebrate National Nutrition Month® by planting Seeds for a Garden 

Millions of gardeners find satisfaction from collecting seeds and growing annuals and perennials from seed. Fresh, locally grown veggies and herbs have the best flavor. All it takes are some seeds, dirt, light and water. I usually like to start planting seeds around St. Patty's Day, but now is still not too late. 

Every gardener has their own way and planting style. Some rather buy plants at their garden center; some swear by using heat mats to aide in seed germination, some don't. Discover what works for you. Websites like Dave's Garden offer member seed swaps, which is a fun way to collect a wide variety of seeds. When stored properly, seeds can last for years.  

Our first group of seeds planted March 23rd, indoors under florescent lights, already have tiny seedlings emerging. Today, I planted another flat of mixed flowers, herbs and veggies. Stay tuned for the days to germination, which will be posted. Get yourself a few seed packets and pots and give it a try, it's not too late.

These plants can be started at home from seed:
followed by number of days to germination
  • Yvonne's Red Salvia
  • Canna 'Apricot Frost'
  • Compost Cherry Tomatoes: 13 days
  • African Heirloom Hibiscus Kenaf (edible leaves)
  • Fenugreek herb: 3 days
  • FNCE Hershey Cocoa Bean (this is an experiment! got the bean from Hershey when FNCE was in Philadelphia 2012. Had a great time as a participant in their cocoa focus group)
  • Heirloom Aztec Sweet Nicotiana: 8 days
  • Heirloom Cherry Vanilla Quinoa: 3 days
  • Pride of Barbados, Caesalpinia pulcherrima: 13 days
  • Columbine, Aquilegia vulgaris "Lime Sorbet": 22 days
  • Black Cohosh, Actaea racemosa
  • Habanero Arbol
  • Italian Parsley
  • Spanish Flag Vine: 7 days
  • Job's Tears
When you run out to your kitchen garden to snip fresh parsley, or hand pick sun ripened tomatoes from your own plants, you and your family will enjoy the taste of eating right.

Related Links
Starting Seeds Indoors
Job's Tears - A Fascinating Plant 
Blog post Copyright ©2014 Wind. All rights reserved.
National Nutrition Month logo used with permission. 

"I can't afford to eat healthy"... is that you? I hear this often. Find out how YES you can #GardenCuizine

Healthy Cooking on a Budget

"I can't afford to eat healthy" is one of the most common phrases I hear from people as reasoning why their diet isn't better than it could be. Do you feel that way too? Watch for the next edition of The Daily Journal's Health Connection to learn more.

I was quoted for registered dietitian comments in The Daily Journal's Healthy and Thrifty Eating Better on a Budget article. Spending time checking out prices in local food markets provided evidence that, YES, you can cook healthy foods on a budget.

Diana Wind, RDN, LDN

RDN- registered dietitian nutritionist
LDN- licensed dietitian nutritionist
Every dietitian is a nutritionist, but not every nutritionist is a registered dietitian. The difference is in education and knowledge. Seek nutritional advice from the experts. Members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Related Links
Recipes and Tips for Healthy, Thrifty Meals 
Photo and blog post Copyright ©2014 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Start your garden indoors. I started ours today! #GardenCuizine #NNM

  Celebrate National Nutrition Month 
by Sowing Seeds for your Garden

Planting seeds in cell packs placed under grow lights is a great way to celebrate National Nutrition Month and to jump-start your garden at a fraction of the cost of purchasing live plants. Anytime close to St. Patty's day is a good time to get seeds started. 

Even though the ground is still cold, cold hardy plants like lettuce, kale and arugula can now be directly sown outside. If you're not one to start plants indoors from seed, I noticed that garden centers, and even Home Depot, now have kale and lettuce plants for sale. Veggies can be grown in community gardens or pots outside if you don't have a garden area.

For those curious about germination times, I will post the number of days to germination next to each flower or veggie listed as they germinate. These plants are easy to start from seeds and are what I planted today, March 23, here in South Jersey, USDA zone 7a:

  • Big Yellow Heirloom tomatoes: 7 days 
  • Large red heirloom tomatoes: 7 days
  • Goldman's Italian-American heirloom tomatoes: 7 days
  • Chocolate cherry tomatoes: 7 days
  • Abelmoschus esculentus 'Burgundy' Okra: 7 days
  • Jalapeno peppers: 10 days
  • Clary Sage, Salvia viridis 'Marble Arch Rose': 4 days
  • Salvia coccinea 'Lady in Red': 6 days
  • Coral Nymph Salvia: 8 days
  • Ornamental Millet, Pennisetum glaucum 'Purple Majesty': 5 days (cat(s) ate them ALL at 21 days!! must taste like grass. be sure to protect)
  • Red Cypress vine 
I'm Blogging National Nutrition MonthHappy and Healthy Gardening!
Related links
Starting Seeds Indoors   
Rare Forms by Amy Goldman 
Blog post and photo collage Copyright ©2014 Wind. All rights reserved.
National Nutrition Month logo used with permission.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Roasted Spiced Cauliflower with Sumac #GardenCuizine #NNM

Roasted Sumac Spiced Cauliflower 
This National Nutrition Month explore new foods and enjoy the taste of eating right. Try this tasty side dish of roasted cauliflower with sumac. Simply toss chopped cauliflower with olive oil and seasonings and roast until desired doneness. The spices add extra nutrients, plus a speckle of color to the cauliflower. Sumac in particular, adds beneficial antioxidants and anthocyanins. Roasting vegetables brings out delicious flavor.

What is Sumac?
Sumac comes from ground dried berries that grow on sumac shrubs in Sicily, Turkey, North Africa, Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere. According to Penzys Spices, Sumac (Rhus coriaria) was used for its sour flavor before the arrival of lemons in Europe by the ancient Romans. Today, you'll find sumac used in Arabic spice blends such as Za'atar or as a tabletop Middle Eastern condiment. Sumac taste has a slightly bitter/sour flavor, but is much less acidic and not anywhere near as tart as lemon.

Ingredients
1 small head fresh cauliflower
1 tablespoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese 
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Putting it all together
preheat oven to 350°F

Chop cauliflower into bite size pieces. Rinse in strainer; air dry. In a large bowl: toss with olive oil, grated cheese and spices. Spread in a baking dish and bake to desired tenderness. We bake it uncovered for at least 20 minutes before loosely covering with foil and continued roasting until tender. For a complete meal, serve as a side vegetable along with lean protein and whole grain.

Note: some sumac spices may have salt mixed in, even if it is not on the label; taste it and use your judgement. We use sumac from Palestine; it sure tastes like it has salt mixed in. Additional salt is usually NOT necessary, especially if using Parmesan cheese.

Buon Appetito!
I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month
Related Links
Eating Healthy with Cruciferous Vegetables

Photos and blog post Copyright ©2014 Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

ARTiculture. Great time @PhilaFlowerShow #GardenCuizine #gardenchat

ARTiculture
Philadelphia Flower Show 2014

The 185th annual Philadelphia Flower Show (March 1-9, 2014) featured a different and colorful theme this year called ARTiculture. At first it wasn’t clear just what the floral designs were. They appeared to be giant petals hanging in a super-sized 30 x 50-foot picture frame surrounded by topiary sculpted trees. The mobile design was inspired by Philadelphia artist Alexander Calder. After looking up and reading more about Calder, I could better understand and appreciate what was being presented.
Alexander “Sandy” Calder (1898-1976) not only designed mobiles, he was a painter, illustrator, printmaker and sculptor. His father and his grandfather were well-known sculptors too. His grandfather created over 250 sculptures in Philadelphia, including the 37-foot tall William Penn statue on City Hall and the three Native American statues in the Swann Memorial Fountain at Logan Square.
Bandaloop - aerial dance troupe performers - hung from the ceiling and danced gracefully in the air. The dancers created a living canvas, adding even more dimension to the suspended art.
Many of the display areas featured round shapes filled with dried and fresh plant materials.
This year I found no need to take notes on specific plants for my wish list. Many of the plants were familiar, such as green helleborus and coleus, Solenostemon 'Fishnet Stockings'.
Crowds gathered round center stage on Friday afternoon to catch a glimpse of Rachel Ray during her interview with Melissa Magee from channel 6abc.
We were excited to visit the Brandywine River Museum of Chadds Ford, PA, who were among the 18 art museums who had partnered with the show. They featured three generations of Wyeth art. Stoney Bank Nurseries designed an award winning exhibit for them. Congratulations on winning Best of Show: Landscape along with three other show awards!
The intoxicating fragrance of Lilium Appleton lured us over to one of my long time wish list favorites, Arisaema Sikokianum, Japanese Jack-in-the-Pulpit.
Being Jersey shore and Cape Cod fans, we thought the use of shells as plant markers was a creative touch.
The cottage created by the Men's Garden Club of Philadelphia must have charmed the judges too. They won The Mayor's Trophy for innovative/unique design (Landscape: under 1,000 sq ft).
On the way towards the retail shopping area we spotted a few veggie gardens. Something about seeing veggies is always a healthy inspiration to plan a garden.
Families loved the creative bugs made of plant materials.
Colorful Swiss Chard sure spells ARTiculture!
With so many areas to visit, one can never see it all. We missed the butterfly experience and several exhibits. Next year we'll have to visit the "make and take" room to make fun, floral head pieces as souvenirs.
Related Links
Photos and blog post Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved.