Tag Archives: Healthy Living A to Z

Healthy Living A to Z: C is for Cauliflower

Cauliflower Steak Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins
Cauliflower Steak
Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins

When we think of cauliflower it’s often raw florets with dip or cooked swimming in cheese sauce, right?  There is so much more you can do with this wonderful vegetable.

First a few Nutrition Facts.  Cauliflower is a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium and Manganese.

Cauliflower is a great addition to a raw vegetable salad. 

Mashed cauliflower is a great replacement for mashed potatoes.  Don’t negate the health benefits by adding lots of butter and heavy cream.

Cauliflower fried rice be made with grated fresh cauliflower replacing the rice.

Ever had a cauliflower steak?  Cut thick slices from the center.  Season and pan fry in a little oil or lightly coat with cooking spray and bake in a 450 degree oven.

I use cauliflower to make soups, sauces, even dips.  If not overcooked it has a neutral flavor.  Puree in a blender or food processor with seasonings to make a ranch style dressing or dip no one will guess is dairy free.

Healthy Living A to Z: B is for Buckwheat

A Bowl of Cooked Buckwheatat Copyright R. A. Robbins 2013
A Bowl of Cooked Buckwheat
Copyright R. A. Robbins 2013

Despite its name, buckwheat is a seed from a plant related to rhubarb. Buckwheat does not contain gluten and according to the Celiac Disease Foundation may  be safely consumed by individuals with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.  Address any concerns about cross contamination with the manufacturer or distributor of specific products.

Hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant are called groats and make a nice hot cereal.   Buckwheat flour is ground buckwheat.  Light buckwheat flour is made from hulled buckwheat seeds and dark buckwheat flour includes the hulls.

Buckwheat ranks low on the glycemic index.  It is also high in fiber, protein, niacin, amino acids, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and calcium and is a complete protein.  Research points to various health benefits including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

I use buckwheat flour as a 1:1 substitute for all-purpose flour in baked goods such as cakes and cookies.  Buckwheat flour does have a strong flavor. Using half buckwheat flour and half of a flour with a more neutral flavor will help with this.

Read labels of commercial products containing buckwheat flour carefully.  Soba noodles and buckwheat pancake mixes often include wheat flour as well.

I hope you will get to know buckwheat.  It can be a good way to add variety and fiber to your diet.

Healthy Living A to Z: A is for Attitude

English: Think positive
English: Think positive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our attitude influences our physical, mental and spiritual health. Underestimating the power of attitude can be dangerous.  Choosing the positive requires attention and effort. Even those who seem naturally happy work at staying positive.  These are two tools to help us move to a more positive state of being:

Surround yourself with positive people.  Thoughts are highly contagious. Hang out with negative people and you will become negative. Find a group of positive people and you will find staying positive much easier. Watch the online communities you join as well.

Be aware of your thoughts.  Affirmations are a useful tool for changing our way of thinking. These are “I am,” or “I can” statements which recognize the hidden powers of the subconscious mind.

Attitude is the foundation of everything we will do during this lifetime.  It is important to make that foundation a good, positive one.