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‘Recycling’ Food and A New Breakfast Favorite

Posted Nov 15 2009 10:01pm
Arthritis Today magazine is always filled with great articles about the latest arthritis research, drug and supplements information, and arthritis-friendly gadget recommendations (you know how I LOVE gadgets). Also in each issue – like the toy surprise in Cracker Jacks – I find an article not directly related to arthritis but is just so darn interesting. In the latest issue (Nov-Dec ’09), the little gem was an article called “’Recycling’ Recipes.” I thought I’d share a part of it here. (My comments are in red.)

“Americans throw away roughly 96 billion pounds of food each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Yet much of it is completely safe and healthy to eat.

Before you toss those leftovers into the compost pile, trash can or garbage disposal, consider transforming them into dishes on the advice of chef Hinnerk von Bargen,
an associate professor of the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus.

Overripe Fruit
Fruit spread: Peel and dice apples, plums and pears that are past their prime. Cook in a pot over low heat until thickened into an all-natural fruity spread.
(I’m wondering if it would need a little water?)
Smoothie cubes: Overripe bananas, cantaloupe and peaches can be pureed in a blender and frozen in ice-cube trays. Toss the cubes into the blender with milk and yogurt and whirl.(Cantaloupe smoothie? Hmmm…not sure. Your thoughts?)

Vegetable Scraps
Soup stock: Simmer 2 to 2 ½ pounds of mushroom stems, wilted cabbage leaves, tomato trimmings, carrot and celery ends – even aged cheese rinds – together in a quart of water for one hour. Strain through cheesecloth and use the stock as a base for soups and stews.
(I’d add some spices to it before cooking like cloves, basil, tarragon, rosemary, bay leaf, or thyme.)

Potato Peels
Potato crisps
(my personal favorite): Place peels from potatoes that have been washed well in a single layer on a baking sheet. Mix with a little vegetable oil(I’ll use cooking spray instead)and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes or until crispy.(I can taste them already. Just need a little condiment action and I’m set.)

Pineapple Skin(This one might be even more fun with a little rum, maybe?)
Sweet-tart cooler: Place sliced pineapple skin in a pot with a quart of water, one cinnamon stick and ¼ cup sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain and serve over ice with a splash of lemon or lime juice.”

So there you have it. Recycled food. Let me know if you try any of them.

You know how you go through food cycles? I’ll go months and months eating a certain kind of roasted potato or making the same kind of soup. Then it gets boring and I latch on to another kind of food and eat it for months.

Recently I’ve grown tired of smoothies, but I still love Greek yogurt and have been looking for ways to jazz it up a bit. The other day I was on Weight Watchers online and saw a link to a post on one of the discussion boards about adding “seasonal” spices to yogurt. The person who posted said she adds apple pie spice, vanilla and Splenda to her plain yogurt. Sounded tasty.

I don’t have apple pie spice, so I substituted pumpkin pie spice and oh my, it was fabulous! I mixed it all up with stevia (not a Splenda fan), a banana and 3 T of Grape Nuts and it’s now (with or without the cereal) my new almost favorite breakfast. My favorite (albeit once-in-awhile, as in a few times a month) breakfast is still Arnold’s French Toast. I made some this morning along with a side of leftover steamed cauliflower sprinkled with a little parm. It’s another North Country Trail hiking day – another 63-degree afternoon on tap – and so I loaded up on protein and carbs to keep me going.

Happy Sunday, all!
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