Ruth's Blog

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Thanks to the following vendors for joining our list of exclusive products that we now distribute.

Contact us at 507-895-2785  for more information on how to obtain these iconic products.

American Range    AGAmarvel_professional_logo_72dpi

Maroon Heritage

Heartland

AGA Legacy                              Marvel Refrigeration                  hwindowlogoR                                                                                LHK.logo.with.pots                    randys-logo logo Prestige

                                          LAUNCHING SOON:

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Kitchen Icons

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Living Healthy Kitchen Featured on AGA Blog in England!

AGA Total Control supports healthy eating message in the US

READ IT HERE Lady AGA Blog

 

 

 

Ruth & Jeremy Chipps

Kitchen Project. More updates here:  www.livinghealthykitchen.com

Chefs go wild about the new AGA Total Control Range and we are thrilled to have one.

For more about AGA Marvel and this impressive range that can execute ten different cooking methods at one time, visit: http://www.agamarvel.com/

Contact Jeremy for more information about AGA Marvel and Professional-style appliances for the home.

email: jeremy@lahmayer.com  Phone: 608-317-5700

 

Healthy School Meals Get Moving!

Ruthfood Blog by Ruth L. Chipps, MS, RD

Coming soon…new standards for school meals will mean adjustments in menu requirements for the first time in more than fifteen years and are designed to improve the health and nutrition for nearly 32 million children that participate in school meal programs. The changes are part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, championed by the First Lady as part of her Let’s Move! Campaign and signed into law by President Obama.
Some of the key changes include:
· Ensuring students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week;
· Substantially increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods;
· Offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties;
· Limiting calories based on the age of children being served to ensure proper portion size;
· Increasing the focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium.
Last Spring, I had the opportunity to present to a number of classes at St. Mary’s School in Caledonia, MN (photos above). They were a super audience and responded well to my healthy snack attack presentation. The kids even chanted with me during my snack attach wrap and roll song (see below). Here’s what I prepared for them:
WRAP & ROLL-Recipe: Spread peanut butter down the middle of a soft tortilla, sprinkle with trail mix and thin sliced apples, banana or other fruit. Fold it inward on each edge (WRAP) and ROLL the tortilla toward you, hiding the goodies inside! Mmmmunch and enjoy! Other wrap & roll options include veggie wrap ingredients – using hummus or light cream cheese, cottage cheese or other tasty options. Utilizing whole grain tortilla wraps helps meet the goal of increased fiber intake.
Snack Wrap Rap Song/Chant: American Snack Idol
*Percussion sound:
Make a snack wrap
with a tortilla flat
Healthy eating is where it’s at!
Peanut butter spread along one side
Sprinkle favorite fruits & nuts inside
Fold it inward on each edge
Roll it up and I will pledge
To make each snack a healthy one
Eating right is SUPER FUN!
Here’s a message I received from the program Coordinator: “Ruth took the time to meet with us and determine how her expertise could fit our needs.  Her creativity in the development and presentation of healthy snacks was remarkable.  She has the ability to keep children engaged and wanting to learn more.”  -Jesie Melde, BS, CLS, Health Educator
Thanks Jesie and thank you to the students in Caledonia for making a commitment to healthy eating!
To your health,
Ruth

Squash–in the Spotlight

RUTHFOOD BLOG by Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD

If you’re fortunate to have received a harvest of squash from your garden or the local farmer’s market, here’s a tasty soup recipe that can be made with any variety. Butternut is a favorite, with its light creamy tan exterior color, characteristic hourglass shape and rich golden-orange interior. Another variety to enjoy is the decorative sweet dumpling squash which looks like a mini multi-colored pumpkin.

Consider prepping the squash by cutting into eight chunks, remove the seeds and roast the pieces at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes with a sprinkle of salt & pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Another option is to pierce the whole squash in a few places with a knife and bake whole until a fork is easily inserted. Cut and remove the seeds after it is cooled. Leftover pieces can be refrigerated and used another day in this tasty soup:

Super Squash Soup

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ t. fresh minced garlic
¾ c onion, chopped
¼ c. red pepper, chopped
¼ c. green pepper, chopped
2 tsp cumin (more if you like it)
¼ t. white pepper
2 (14 oz .) cans low sodium chicken broth (or homemade – if you have it)
2 c. cooked or frozen/thawed squash (butternut, sweet dumpling, or other variety)
¼ c. half & half (optional) – could substitute milk.
Hot pepper sauce to taste.

Heat stock pan; add olive oil and lightly saute garlic, onion, red and green pepper. Add remaining ingredients (except half and half) and heat. You’re the cook – adjust seasonings as needed. Just before serving add the optional half & half and heat to serving temperature (do not boil.) Sprinkle the desired amount of hot pepper sauce.

Serve with sliced seasonal fresh local apples.

To your health,

Ruth

Grandma’s Sweetheart Granola – For Your Valentine

RUTHFOOD BLOG By Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD

As Valentine ’s Day approaches, consider making this delicious granola for your sweetheart that provides heart health benefits and incredible ginger-infused flavor. Pair it with yogurt and fresh fruit for a tasty breakfast; add to parfaits and use as a topping on ice cream or frozen yogurt. My mom (Grandma) has perfected this tropical pina colada granola recipe over the years to maximize taste and minimize added fat and sugar.

Sweetheart Pina Colada Granola
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons Canola oil
1 c. slivered almonds
6 c. old fashioned oats
1 ½ c. shredded coconut
½ c. honey or brown sugar (optional-use sugar substitute for half of the sugar)
2 t. coconut extract
1 t. orange extract
1 t. pineapple extract
¼ t. salt
1 c. dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, plums, etc.)
2/3 c. crystallized ginger, minced

Method: Turn oven to 400 degrees. In a large pan, melt the butter (in oven). Add the oil, coconut, orange and pineapple extracts. Add the oats, almonds, coconut, honey/brown sugar. Bake until slightly brown on top, stir, bake again until slightly brown, 2 or 3 times until as crisp as you want it. Take out, allow to cool, then add the dried fruit and ginger. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy for breakfast and as a topping on ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Good Taste, Good Health!

New Years Luck with Black Eyed Peas

By Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD

RUTHFOOD BLOG

Black eyed peas are a traditional food served on New Year’s Day in Southern States. Eating black eyed peas on January 1st is thought to bring good luck and a prosperous future. You may have also heard of the hip hop band, The Black Eyed Peas, who will entertain during the upcoming Super Bowl XIV halftime show, as well as the New Years Eve Celebration in Times Square.

When it comes to edible black eyed peas, they are a legume which works well in many dishes, especially soups. They provide protein and soluble fiber (helpful with cholesterol reduction). Black eyed peas are one of many legumes considered a foundation of the Mediterranean Diet – a heart healthy eating approach.

Here’s to a Happy New Year with Black Eyed Peas & Cilantro Soup!

Black Eyed Peas & Cilantro Soup

Ingredients:

6 oz. (1 c.) black eyed peas or 2 – 16 oz. cans
1 T. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
½ c. celery, minced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 med. jalapeno, chopped
1 t. ground cumin
¼ t. ground cardamom
8 oz. fresh or canned tomatoes, diced
2 ½ c. beef, poultry or vegetable stock
1 oz. fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped or parsley
Juice of ½ lemon
Feta cheese crumbles for garnish
Pita bread

Method:

If using dried beans, rinse beans and place in a pan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil; Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 2 hrs. Drain the beans, return to the pan, cover with fresh cold water, then simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the beans are tender. Drain and set aside. Heat the oil in a pan, add onions, garlic and jalapenos and cook for 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Add the cumin, cardamom, tomatoes, and stock plus half of the cilantro. Add the beans and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice plus remaining cilantro. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve with pita bread.

Have a happy, healthy and bountiful new year!

Ruth

Carrot Orange Holiday Cookies–Delish!

Incorporating a vegetable into holiday cookies is an innovative way to eat more vegies. These cookies are a personal favorite and a family tradition. Thanks, Mom for the recipe!

Cookie batter:
3/4-c. sugar
3/4-c. butter
3/4-c. cooked, mashed carrot
l egg
2 c. unbleached flour
2-tsp. baking powder
1/2-tsp. salt
1-tsp. vanilla
Frosting:
2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp. fresh grated orange rind
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
Powdered sugar (approx, 1 c. or enough to make it spreadable)

Combine and blend sugar and butter. Add carrots and eggs. Combine dry ingredients and add to batter. Add vanilla. Place spoonfuls on parchment paper covered cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for approx. 8 minutes. Only bake until they are no longer shiny and slightly brown on edges (tops do not get brown.) Test with a toothpick. Cool on racks. Mix icing ingredients and spread on cooled cookies. These are soft and luscious – the orange and carrots are perfect partners. Freezes well. Enjoy!

Healthy Holidays,

Ruth

My Favorite Things: Holiday Edible Gifts

RUTH FOOD BLOG

By Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD

Tis the season for tasty indulgences. Here are a few of my favorite food gifts. Enjoy and share with family & friends:

Cranberry Cardamom Bars                 Cranberry Orange Vinegar    Cranberry Ginger Almond Bark
½ c. butter
1 c. sugar
¾ c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. baking powder
¼ t. baking soda
1 t. cardamom, ground
½ t. salt
3 c. flour
¼ c. milk
2 ½ c. fresh cranberries, cut in half
¼ c. walnuts, minced (optional)
¼ c. dried cranberries

Browned Butter Cardamom Frosting:

¼ c. butter
¼ t. vanilla
¼ t. cardamom, ground
5 Tbsp. half & half or cream
4 c. powdered sugar

Bars/Cookies Method: Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Mix dry ingredients and add slowly. Add cranberries, walnuts and dried cranberries. Do not over mix. For bars, spread on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 min. or until slightly browned on top. For thinner bars, use two cookie sheets. Do not over-bake. Can also bake as cookies.

Browned Butter Cardamom Frosting: In saucepan, heat butter until it lightly browns. Pour into a bowl and add other ingredients. Whisk with hand whisk or mixer. After cookies have cooled, spread on top.

About the Ingredients: Cranberries have long been touted as a health food and they contain antioxidants, which may play a role in reducing risk for heart disease and other conditions. For more information, visit the Cranberry Institute. Cardamom is a unique spice commonly used in Indian cooking. It’s from the ginger family and originates from a small seed pod. Cardamom can be purchased ground as well dried pods, which are excellent sprinkled into whole coffee beans before grinding.

Cranberry Orange Vinegar: Wash fresh cranberries and allow to dry. Boil empty glass containers in water for 5 minutes. Pack the cranberries into containers – fill ¼ of the way. Heat vinegar (white or apple cider) to boiling point and and pour over the packed cranberries. Add a few pieces of fresh orange rind. Add more cranberries if desired, otherwise add the lid. Put the vinegar into a sunny place and let it infuse. Leave for 1-2 weeks, then taste. If you like the flavor, it is ready to use. If not, strain out the vinegar, add more cranberries to the container (pack down well) and pour the strained vinegar back in. Add to dressings for salads, including meat-based salads (great for leftover turkey).

Cranberry Ginger Almond Bark
1 pound white chocolate
1 c. slivered almonds
1 c. dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. minced crystallized ginger
2 Tbsp. fine shredded coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a baking sheet to form a single later. Allow to slightly brown for about 5-8 minutes (stir once). Do not over-cook. Remove and allow to cool. Set aside. Melt chocolate in the microwave or double boiler. Stir in other ingredients and spread in single layer on parchment lined baking sheet. Allow to cool. When chocolate is hardened, break into chunks and seal in plastic bags. Makes a lovely gift.

Enjoy the Holiday Season!
Ruth

Stress Away With an Apple a Day

RUTH FOOD BLOG – By Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD

According to a report by the American Psychological Society, stress levels are at an all time high, with financial concerns at the top of the list. As stress escalates, eating habits tend to go awry – with an increase in convenience foods that can be high in calories and fat.

An apple a day: How about crunching on apples for stress management? We’ve heard the adage about apples, but how many of us abide by it? The US Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends we eat more fruits and veggies than any other food group — for adults, that’s 3½ to 6½ cups per day (7 to 13 servings). Sadly, most Americans fall short of this goal, with an average intake of 3 fruits/vegetables per day.

Apples are one tasty way to boost daily fruit intake and they’re easy to incorporate into a healthy eating pattern. Apples provide cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber (pectin) and a variety of nutrients. Studies have connected apples with the prevention of disease, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, type II diabetes and asthma.

Apple on the go: Use an apple slicer/corer and toss into a zippered bag with a couple teaspoons of lemon juice to maintain color and freshness.  Another idea is to bake an apple with cinnamon and a sweetener.

Pair tart green apples with butternut squash available at the year-round farmers markets. Enjoy this recipe for the holidays:

Butternut Squash & Green Apple Bake – Delicious as a side dish with chicken, pork or pasta.

5 c. squash, peeled and sliced (butternut)
4 c. apples, tart (granny smith) – thinly sliced
¼ c. butter, melted
½ c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1 t. salt
½ t. ground mace
¼ c. slivered almonds

Method: Peel and slice squash and apples. In a 2 qt. casserole dish, melt butter and brown sugar; stir in flour, salt and mace. Add squash and apples to mixture. Bake at 350 for approx. 1 hour or until soft. Stir halfway through cooking process to distribute ingredients. Sprinkle slivered almond on top at end of baking process.

Read More: Stress Management

Log On is a wonderful book written by colleague Dr. Amit Sood, of Mayo Clinic. It explores tangible methods to re-train your brain and combat stress. Read more about it here.

Healthy Living!

Ruth

Artisan Parmesan Bread (Knead-Free)

RUTH FOOD BLOG

By Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, MS, RD

My husband Jeremy said this is the best bread he’s ever had.  It’s incredibly easy to make. The beauty of this technique is that you never have to touch the dough and get sticky hands. It’s as easy as stir it and forget it! The outcome is truly rustic/European style bread with crusty outside and moist sour-dough texture inside. Additionally, baking your own artisan breads is economical and your guests will be wowed with the aroma. Experiment with different variations and enjoy!

Once you have the technique down, try substituting 1/3 of the flour for whole wheat flour and adding walnuts, dried cranberries, ground cardamom and cinnamon.  Another variation is to add Kalamata olives and garlic chunks (dried) along with the cheese. You can also toss in ground flaxseed, rolled oats and a few sesame seeds for part of the flour. Experiment and enjoy!

Artisan Parmesan Bread (Knead-Free)

3 c. bread flour
¾ t. yeast
1 ¼ t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
½ c. Parmesan cheese, chopped in small chunks (1/4 inch)
1 5/8 c. water (more or less)
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed

1. In a large glass or ceramic bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt and pepper. Add cheese and use non-stick rubber spatula to stir together. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. You may need more or less water depending on type of flour. Spread oil lightly along sides of bowl to prevent sticking and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles and almost doubles in bulk. Lightly release the dough from the edges of the bowl using the non-stick spatula and form it roughly into a loaf. Cover the bowl again with plastic wrap and allow to rest and rise again for about 2 hours.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (Dutch oven, cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats to 450 degrees. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. (I use oven gloves…be careful pot is VERY hot). Use the spatula to gently loosen the dough from edges of the bowl and turn dough over into the hot pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Sprinkle with cornmeal or bran if desired. Use pot holders to cover with the lid (it’s hot!) and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 minutes, or until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.  Variation note: when using whole wheat flour, you may not need the last 15 minutes. Tap on the top of the loaf to be sure it is golden brown (not dark brown) and firm. The bread will have a sourdough texture and consistency.

Note: It’s important to be very careful with removing the pot and the lid!—it is extremely hot. I always use heat-resistant oven gloves.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

Serve immediately or slice loaf and keep in freezer. Pull out by slice as needed and toast.

Creative Commons LicenseThis blog by Lahmayer & Associates, Ltd. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Feel free to share, copy, distribute, display and transmit this work as long as you attribute the authorship to Ruth Lahmayer Chipps, link back to this webpage and avoid altering or building upon this work. (For non-commercial purposes only).

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