Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Inspiration and Resolutions

I've had new inspiration to begin to blog again. I am a naturalist and a part-time foodie. Recently my husband and I watched the movie, Julie and Julia--instant inspiration! Julie in the movie is a writer who's written half of a novel--Oh, can I relate to that, I've written several halves of novels--she's also a foodie, someone who's interested in gourmet food and cooking. She begins blogging about cooking all the recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I'm tempted to take up the same challenge, but I'd rather continue cooking healthy, natural food, which is also tasty (not to say that Child's book doesn't include natural recipes, because French cooking uses natural ingredients) and blog about food, nature and the One who made them both.

My goal is to blog at least once a week, more if possible.

Speaking of goals, everyone in my office is on a diet. It being January 6th, I guess it's expected. I too would like to loose a few pounds, but how is the all consuming question.

I've heard that health clubs get hundreds of people joining beginning in January. They come faithfully and the gym is full for weeks until about March by which time the majority have lost interest. I'm sure the health clubs don't mind at all, they still get the year-long membership fees.

And what about diets? The number diets out there is mind-boggling.

Here's my suggestion for a natural, healthy plan to lose weight: Cut out white flour and sugar. Of course there will be some exceptions and special days, but it is possible on a regular day. Now, if you already eat this way, you'll have to get more strict, or just exercise more, but if you don't, this is a great way to lose weight without counting calories or following a strict, complicated diet plan.

Don't forget to exercise regularly. Exercise burns calories--allowing you to eat more ;-) -- and it increases energy. But if you join the gym keep it up throughout the year if only to get your money's worth or else your resolution for 2011 will be a better financial plan.

In this new year I pray you enjoy food, enjoy good health and enjoy the Creator who delights in you and made these for you to enjoy!

View Julie Powell's current blog.

Here's a delicious recipe without flour or sugar:

Polenta w/Veggies and Mushroom Ragout
Lund's & Byerly's Real Food Winter 2008, page 56
1 C Instant Polenta or Cornmeal
2 C Milk
1 C Water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, shredded

8 ounces White Mushrooms, quartered
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 small Onion, sliced into strips
2 Tbspn Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic
1 Tbspn Thyme, chopped
1 15-oz can Kidney Beans, drained
2 Tbspn Tomato Paste
1/2 C Creme Fraiche or Cream
1/2 tsp Salt

Prepare a pie pan by lightly rubbing it with olive oil. Ina 2-qt saucepan, bring themilk and water to a simmer. Whisk in polenta in steady stream and add salt. Reduce heat to med-low and stir the mixture until thick, about 3-5 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in Parmesan then transfer to the prepared pie pan and smooth the top. Chill. Prepare the veggies and reserve. Heat a large saute pan over med-high heat and add oil*; then add vegetables and cook, stirring. When mushrooms are browned and seared, and peppers and onions are tender, add garlic and thyme and stir for 2 minutes. Add beans and stir to heat through. In a cup, stir tomato paste with cream; then add to the pan and cook until thickened slightly. Take off heat and keep warm. Salt to taste. Preheat broiler. Oil a baking sheet and slice the polenta in 6 wedges. Lightly oil the toops of the wedges and broil them 6 inches from the heat. Watch them carefully and turn when the tops are golden and crisp. When the polenta is hot and crispy on the edges, serve with ragout.

*Taking the idea from Julie Powell, I browned the mushrooms in butter first, set them aside, then cooked the other veggies in the leftover butter with a little olive oil added. I then added the mushrooms back in when I stirred in the tomato/cream. And, Julie, if you're reading this, I didn't crowd the mushrooms. ;-)


  1. I rarely, if ever, post comments, but maybe this will encourage you as much as Julie & Julia??? Nice work!

  2. Julie and Julia is a recent movie. It's about Julia Childs' life in Paris and Julie Powell who lives in New York and decides to blog about cooking all of Childs' recipes in her book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."
    Thanks for the comment! I appreciate you breaking your "no comment" rule for me. ;-)